a calm lake where we find a lovely little house ON/IN its center

lobelia.ophrys

Senior Member
French
Hello everybody,

I have a HUGE hesitation for the use of ON/IN in this context:

"[...] snowflakes are swirling above a calm lake where we find a lovely little house ON/IN its center."

I never know which one I must use!

Thank you very much! ^^
 
  • Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    What relationship are you trying to describe between the house and the lake? With either in or on, I think it might sink when the ice melts. :)
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I also wonder what the house is doing either on or in the center of a lake. There was no mention of an island, just a house.
     

    lobelia.ophrys

    Senior Member
    French
    Indeed, there is NO island ^^ the house it just placed on / in (^^) the center of the lake... don't try to find something logical in this sentence... it's about a fantasy novel ;-)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Indeed, there is NO island ^^ the house it just placed on / in (^^) the center of the lake... don't try to find something logical in this sentence... it's about a fantasy novel ;-)
    This is the kind of context that you should include in your initial post, otherwise you just waste our time.

    In a fantasy, it could be "in the center of the lake" underwater, "above the center of the lake" flying in the air, or almost anything.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi acid...burn

    I agree with Tazzler: the preposition would need to be "in" rather than "on".

    There's something awkward about your sentence, though: I think I'd choose between

    ... snowflakes are swirling above a calm lake in the centre of which [there] is a lovely little house

    and

    ... snowflakes are swirling above a calm lake with a lovely little house in the centre of it.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Neither expression is good, in my opinion.
    Since the centre is a point and a point has no extent, there cannot be anything 'in' the centre.
    'On the centre' strongly suggests a physical situation upon the water.
    Either 'at the centre' or 'in the middle' is good English, but the sense remains incongruous
    since the house still requires some support other than mere water: unless of course it is a stilt house. Still, if that were the case, it seems unlikely it would be on its own in the middle of the lake.
     
    Last edited:

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Hi acid...burn.

    If it's fantasy, I'd use ON, but I'd add to the symbolism so it makes more sense. Example: Snowflakes are swirling above a calm lake where we find a lovely little house treading on the water.

    Your example was confusing to me. With your movie context, (I like that movie, by the way.) I finally understood what you're asking.

    IN would be incorrect because you can see the house. It's not under water, at least the major part of it isn't, for the purpose of your story.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Parla,

    This inside of this "whatever" does have usable space. The little girl goes there to be alone. So does the actress.

    This buildling seems to be secured somehow. Not logical, but visually pretty with maybe gothic overtones for the scene.
     

    lobelia.ophrys

    Senior Member
    French
    Thanks to ALL of you!

    PARLA... no, this is INDEED a lake house and like ANGELEYES mentionned, the little girl goes there to be alone and she calls that her lake house ^^ (very pretty movie, indeed :-D)

    Thanks again!
     

    bicontinental

    Senior Member
    English (US), Danish, bilingual
    Interesting!! With the reference to snow flakes I was assuming that they were talking about ice fishing (guess where I live!) Around here these "houses" or shelters are called ice shanties. You'd probably never find a lake that had only one, though ... IN it's center, ON the ice :)
     
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