a pass on a double-decker

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bamboo--tw, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    ROC/Mandarin
    Whether you have a few days or a week, make the most of your time. Buy a pass on a double-decker bus to explore Paris.


    Hi,
    Does "on" in the above refer to "getting on" or something else? Thanks.
     
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    It seems to mean to purchase a ticket to ride on the tourist bus.
     
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Using on indicates that you should buy the pass actually on the bus.
    You can do that on the tourist bus.
    The bus stops. You get onto the bus. You buy your ticket and off you go :)
     
  4. Mark1978 Senior Member

    English
    Should probably be "sightseeing bus" or similar. To distinguish between than and ordinary bus services :p
     
  5. Cathy Rose Senior Member

    Northeast USA
    United States English
    If you purchase the ticket somewhere other than on the bus, the correct preposition would be for the double-decker bus.
     
  6. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    I think people are suggesting that we are stricter than we often are over this. I hear people talking about buying a ticket on a bus, meaning at a ticket office for a bus. Here's an unequivocal example; it doesn't sound wrong to me:

    Naturally train tickets and seat reservations are (or can be) two separate things, and this is particularly a problem if you buy a rail pass, since these only cover the first! If you turn up at a ticket office in France or Italy and buy a ticket on a train that REQUIRES a seat reservation, this will be included. (Source)
     
  7. Mark1978 Senior Member

    English
    That's two different things. The first is talking about the location of the ticket purchase, but this is something different because you've added "that requires" to the end, which changes the context completely.
     
  8. Cathy Rose Senior Member

    Northeast USA
    United States English
    I think that using on instead of for could be confusing -- and costly. For instance, if you were to purchase a ticket on the train in Italy, you could be charged a hefty fee. I think it would be important to understand the difference. :)
     
  9. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southern England
    English - England
    Yes, I agree about that. I'm just saying that people are lax in their use of these prepositions, and don't always use language as one would wish.

    Here's what we are discussing: Whether you have a few days or a week, make the most of your time. Buy a pass on a double-decker bus to explore Paris.

    I don't think we can say for sure that the person or advertisement giving this advice is saying unequivocally that the ticket should be bought on the bus for the bus, or at a ticket or tourist office for the bus. That's all. I fear that a ticket on a bus is modern BE for a bus ticket, or what you would, to avoid ambiguity, have us all call a ticket for a bus.
     
  10. Mark1978 Senior Member

    English
    In the context of the passage given I think the writer doesn't care where you buy the ticket, as long as you do.
     
  11. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm with TT on this. "On" may well indicate physically "on" the bus, train etc but doesn't necessarily do so. I interpreted the topic sentence as meaning Buy a pass for a double-decker bus to explore Paris.:)
     
  12. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    Me too.
    Indeed, sentences like....
    I've got a ticket on the 2 o'clock train to Bournemouth.
    We bought a ticket on the evening plane to Beirut.

    ...are not that unusual. The latter doesn't mean the ticket was bought on the plane.

    I agree that this might be an ellipsis ==>
    Buy a pass [for rides] on the double-decker bus........

    If this interpretation is correct, we should think of "on the bus" not as modifying "buy" but as modifying "pass".
     
  13. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    You could be right that it doesn't matter which is used in this context.
    On the other hand, this is a distinguishing feature of the tourist bus in Paris, is it not? You don't buy a ticket for the normal Parisian bus on the bus.

    Still, I could be reading too much into it.
     
  14. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    Elsewhere
    English English
    I'm with TT and Loob: I read the original sentence as Buy a pass [for use] on a double-decker ...
     

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