buried 'on the ranch' or 'in the ranch'

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JunJiBoy

Senior Member
USA
Cantonese
Hello, dear friends:

You know Michael of Vsauce on Youtube?
He's a genius, in his latest video, he said 'her owner buried her on his ranch in LA'.

In my point of view, if you bury something, it's buried in the soil, so I would tend to say "in the ranch", or is "on the ranch" always the case?
Does anyone think differently? Thank you.
 
  • JustKate

    Senior Member
    I agree with sandpiperlily. When we're talking about something large, such as a country, state or city, we usually say in. But prepositions in English are tricky, and ranch is one of the exceptions.
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    The dog is burid in the soil of the ranch, so that makes it "buried in the ranch".

    I guess there's nothing wrong with 'her owner buried her on his ranch in LA'?

    But it makes me think of the passive expression "the dog is
    buried on the ranch", how on Earth can you buried something on top of the soil?
     

    sandpiperlily

    Senior Member
    "On the ranch" is an expression that just means "at the ranch." As JustKate says, sometimes our pronouns are tricky, and certain ones just "go" with certain words.

    If something is buried, that generally means it's in the soil. Usually, I agree, "buried on [place]" sounds strange. But because "on the ranch" is sort of a set phrase, it's understood that anything "buried on the ranch" is buried under the soil of the ranch.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    JunJiBoy said:
    But it makes me think of the passive expression "the dog is buried on the ranch", how on Earth can you buried something on top of the soil?
    Well, you can't. :) The dog is buried in the soil, but the soil is on the ranch, so the dog is buried on the ranch or perhaps at the ranch.

    (Cross-posted with sandpiperlily)
     
    Last edited:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "On the ranch" refers to the location where the dog is buried -- the location of the grave, not the location of the actual dog within the grave.
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    The ranch is build on soil, there's soil in the ranch, livestock lives on the ranch, and there's a barnhouse on the ranch, but if you dig a hole in the soil and jump in, you're in it.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The ranch is not a container.
    The soil is located on the ranch. The soil is on the ranch below the surface.
    You are in the hole. The hole is located on the ranch.
     

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Yes, of course. But as Myridon has explained, the point of the sentence isn't that the dog's corpse is in soil - what else would you bury him in? :) It's where the grave is located, and where that the grave is located on or at the ranch.

    (Cross-posted with Myridon. I seem to be cross-posting all over the place tonight.)
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    How about the ranch soil, are you in or on the ranch soil if you are buried?

    And the same thing applies to beach?

    <<second question deleted>>
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    <<Response to deleted question is also deleted.>>
    Where is the dog buried? On the ranch.
    Where is the dog's body? In the ground. Where is the ground in which the dog is buried? On the ranch.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    I am so sorry, JunJiBoy - I know how quirky and tricky English prepositions are, so I know this must be as confusing as heck. The grave is in the soil, but on the ranch. If you're talking about "the soil of the ranch" (which would be kind of odd, really), it would be in the soil. It doesn't matter whether it's ranch soil or damp soil or any kind of soil.
     

    JunJiBoy

    Senior Member
    USA
    Cantonese
    That's my original concept of prepositions.
    Now my mind is being swayed by something else, that's hard to accept, you know.
     
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