In or On the driveway

Mr. Zbignew

New Member
Polish - Poland
Hi.

Can I assume that both examples below are correct:

The car was parked in the driveway.
The car was parked on the driveway.


It looks like it's a style choice.. "In" looks more common, but "on" is used too, I see.

In Hemingway's Garden of Eden, I see:
Catherine's car was in the driveway of the hotel . . .
but
. . . they left the car on the driveway.

Can I assume from the above that both are correct?

Thank you,

Zbig
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    Hi, Zbig. Both are correct. If you use "on the driveway", you emphasize the idea of the driveway as a surface. If you use "in the driveway", you emphasize the idea of the driveway as a space.

    The notion of space is probably more common in talk about driveways. If I saw somebody pull into my driveway, I'd use "in" rather than "on": Who's that in the driveway?
     
    Last edited:

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I say "in" to refer to the driveway as a location. Maybe if I spilled oil then I might say something like "I spilled oil on the driveway." But for 99% of cases, I agree with Hemingway.
     

    Mr. Zbignew

    New Member
    Polish - Poland
    I say "in" to refer to the driveway as a location. Maybe if I spilled oil then I might say something like "I spilled oil on the driveway." But for 99% of cases, I agree with Hemingway.
    I also agree with Hemingway. :)

    But that's the problem. He used "in" in the first sentence and "on" in the second (from my original post):

    . . . they left the car on the driveway.

    Which tells me both are correct, as Owlman5 said.
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This "problem" is a pretty good indicator that both "in" and "on" are normal with "driveway", Zbig. You can reasonably use either one depending on whether the idea of surface or space is more important to you.
     

    Mr. Zbignew

    New Member
    Polish - Poland
    This "problem" is a pretty good indicator that both "in" and "on" are normal with "driveway", Zbig. You can reasonably use either one depending on whether the idea of surface or space is more important to you.
    Thank you. I just wanted to check here because English is very difficult for me to learn and I don't want to sound uneducated or ignorant!
     
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