at/in/on the South Pole

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Senior Member
This question popped up on the General forum.

Scott found a Norwegian flag on the South Pole.
Only one native speaker chimed in, sound shift, who said on was not correct. Another member said in the pole...sounds off to me.

I said at the South Pole.

Which preposition would you choose and which one sounds incorrect to you?

Thanks for your help .
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Scott found a Norwegian flag at the South Pole. - At is a preposition that indicates a particular point. At shows where something happened/is.

    There is only snow and ice at the South Pole
    Nothing lives at the South Pole.

    On would indicate "on top of" or "attached to". Contrary to what comics show, there is not a "pole" at the South Pole (Note capitalisation), so there is nothing to put a flag on.


    Senior Member
    English - United States
    You could lay a flag on the snow directly above the South Pole - as far as I'm concerned, that's the most reasonable meaning of "a flag on the South Pole," which is likely not what the original writer meant.


    Senior Member
    USA English
    The South Pole represents geographic coordinates 90 degrees south and no usable east-west coordinates.

    We normally use "at" with geographic coordinates.
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