dive on / near the coral reef


Senior Member

I'd like to ask if we can use the preposition 'on' in the following sentence:

I was diving on the coral reef.

It seems to me we should use 'near the coral reef.' Am I right?
  • NLmarkSE

    Senior Member
    Dutch (the Nederlands)
    You can use near, but it would imply that you were not actually diving above the reef, but merely in an area that is close to the reef.

    I'd use "I was diving (right) above the coral reef."


    Senior Member
    American English
    If you were exploring the coral reef during a dive, usually with scuba gear, and you are speaking to other divers, you can say "I was diving on the coral reef." (Look at any diving website to verify this.)

    So the choice of preposition changes the meaning of the sentence.
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