go in/on a boat

Discussion in 'English Only' started by yakor, May 2, 2013.

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  1. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    Hello,
    How to distinguish what the sentence mean? Is it always necessary to have a context?
    "He went in a boat"
    It could mean that he was on the land and than he get into/in the boat.
    Also, it could mean that he went over the ocean (by sea) in a boat. (He went by sea, being in a boat)
     
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Yes :warn:
     
  3. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    In most cases it is really true. No context-no understanding. But I thought that in case of "go in something" it is easy to say what it means.
    It seems that I was wrong. "Go in something" could mean two things. "Get into something" and "go being in something".
     
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    "He went in a boat" = He went by boat
    "He went in a boat" = He entered a boat"

    If you use the correct words, your meaning will be clear.
    :thumbsup:
     
  5. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    You mean that the phrases "get into" in sense of "enter" and "Go in a boat" in sense of "go by boat" is not appropriate?
     
  6. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    No, I mean go in/into in the sense of "enter". Of course, it depends how big the boat is as to whether you would get on it or in/into it.
    What I meant was that your original question was about the distinction between the meanings of "He went in a boat."

    The use of "He went in a boat." is fine, but if you want to have no confusion or ambiguity, then "He went by boat" / "He entered a boat" should be used.
     
  7. yakor Senior Member

    Russian
    You mean that "He went(goes) in a boat" could mean two cases.
    1)He went by boat=He went being in a boat.
    2)He went (goes) into a boat.
     
  8. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    It was clearly explained in post #2 that you need context. That's also explained in the The Longer Guide to English Only where it says
    There's also Rule 1. You should try using the search facility to look for in on boat.

    This thread is closed.
     
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