squeezed/squashed together in/on (Se apiñaron en)

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by blasita, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    Hola a todos:

    ... todos los demás se apiñaron en el asiento de atrás (del coche). Había más personas de las que cabían normalmente en el coche y se habla de cómo se sentaron/cupieron dentro de él. Quiere decir que todos los que se sentaron detrás iban muy apretados, juntos, unos contra otros. Es coloquial.

    Yo diría: I sat in the front while everyone else squeezed/squashed together in the back seat. Usaría in sin pensarlo, pero he visto y oído que en muchas ocasiones usan también on. Me gustaría saber qué preposición es la que mejor iría en este caso y, si es posible, el porqué.

    Muchas gracias.
     
  2. carlotita Junior Member

    Virginia
    English (US)
    "Squeezed in" or even "squeezed into the back seat" would work..
     
  3. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    Hola Blasita:

    Yo diría I sat in the front while everyone else squeezed into the back of the car. Si hablas del back seat creo que sería mejor decir ...everyone else squashed together on the back seat.

    I'll try to think of 'el porqué'.

    Un saludo.
     
  4. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    Thank you, Carlotita.

    Muchas gracias, JJ. El caso es que he oído alguna vez que otra ese on en la frase que comentas y no consigo dar con la razón, con la diferencia. E incluso parece que puede haber alguna diferencia regional puesto que Carlotita ha preferido in/into. Un saludito.
     
  5. carlotita Junior Member

    Virginia
    English (US)
    Puede ser que se usa esta expresión más en Inglaterra porque por aquí en los Estados Unidos, nunca se escucha el uso de "on" en este contexto..
     
  6. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Yes, in the U.S. people sit in the back seat, although things may be on the back seat.
     
  7. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    De acuerdo. Yo diría 'in',me supongo, porque el asiento se encuentra dentro del coche y, de hecho, se refiere más bien al compartimento que a la superficie sobre la que uno se sienta. En cambio, diría 'on the bench' o 'on the sofa' ya que estos se encuentran en un espacio más bien abierto.

    Tambien estoy de acuerdo con lo que ha señalado k-in-sc. Es interesante la distinción que hacemos entre personas y cosas en este contexto.
     
  8. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Right, if a package or something is sitting on the seat, it's not pressing up against the side of the car. But it can also be "in the back seat," meaning that general space.
     
  9. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    Interesting: I would say either 'it's sitting on the back seat' or 'it's sitting in the back'.

    At the risk of turning this into a 50+ thread, we (BE speakers) are more likely to talk about being in the front seat/in the driving seat, while I would normally say 'in the back' or 'on the back seat'. I think this is because the front seats tend to envelop you while the back seat is more of a bench, upon which you sit - hence 'on the back seat'. Cf. Donbill's post#7; while 'in the back' refers to relative position in the car.
     
  10. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    Muchas gracias también a vosotros, K y Donbill.

    JJ, gracias por la explicación.

    Un saludo a todos.
     
  11. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    I think we are inevitably dealing with those pesky phrasal verbs, those verbs that go with prepositions and whose meaning changes, sometimes slightly, sometimes markedly. Squeeze in/into in Squeeze into the back seat means "pass through," which is different from the "squeeze" in squeeze the tennis ball (meaning, "apply pressure"). Similarly, sit in means "occupy the space" in sit in the back seat. Because it is an enclosed space ("a car"), "sit in" does mean "sitting" on the back seat. That's slightly different from sit on the back seat, where "sit" is intransitive (meaning "putting your butt on a surface") and takes the adverbial prepositional complement "on the back seat." In this sense, intransitive "sit on" is not a phrasal verb; "sit" and "on" belong to separate syntactic categories (verb and prep. complement). So, if donbill says to me, "hey Seven! Sit on the back seat," I'd likely think "oh, he is using intransitive "sit." From what I gather in this thread, "sit in the back seat" and "sit on the back seat" are two different constructions (phrasal verb vs. intransitive verb) that have the same meaning. Now, as to what parts of the English-speaking world use one or the other, I wouldn't have a clue.
    Just my attempt to help this thread reach the 50 + mark.
    Cheers
     
  12. k-in-sc

    k-in-sc Senior Member

    Being American, donbill would not say "Sit on the back seat" unless maybe he wanted you to see how hard or soft it was. I guess that's your point ...
     
  13. Wandering JJ

    Wandering JJ Senior Member

    England
    British English
    Good man!
     
  14. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    We're well on the way to 50+! I'd say "sit on the back seat" if I had removed it from the car.:D

    There was, years ago, a silly song whose lyrics contained the remarkably aesthetic "sitting in the backseat huggin' and a kissin' with Fred". Now, that song would never have worked with "sitting on the backseat."
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 26, 2012
  15. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    So, what I take from this thread is that if someone says to me "Sit on the back seat!" I'd better look to see where the seat is: in the back of the car, or by the side of the road...because it's been removed! Ah!

    Because of the video alone, I nominate this thread for "thread of the year award." That Fred....what a lucky guy.
    Only 36 more posts to meet our goal! (Sounds like a PBS fundraiser.)
    Cheers
     
  16. blasita

    blasita Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain (Madrid)
    Many thanks, Seven.

    You're all great. Thanks again.
     
  17. SevenDays Senior Member

    Spanish
    You know, that video might just be quite educational, because, if you'll notice, Fred and the seven little girls are not actually sitting there on the back seat. I suppose we could say that the reason why Fred and the girls are not sitting is because they have really short legs. Then again, it could be that "sitting in" in sitting in the back seat carries the general meaning of "occupying space" and not the specific meaning of "sitting." In any event, I might be overthinking all this, but I still say that Fred is a lucky dude.
    Cheers
     
  18. donbill

    donbill Senior Member / Moderator

    South Carolina / USA
    English - American
    It really is a thought-provoking song!;)

    But I think you're right. 'In the backseat' means 'in the compartment/the space where the seat itself is located,' not the surface upon which one plops one's posterior. At least that's what I think it means. So, SevenDays, has dado en el clavo, creo yo. And I don't believe one can overthink an issue of such immense importance.

    Saludos
     

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