Located on/in Trafalgar Square

susanna76

Senior Member
Romanian
I keep finding both
A. The National Gallery is located on Trafalgar Square.
and
B. The National Gallery is located in Trafalgar Square.

Are they completely interchangeable, or is there some preference based on the person's AE or BE version of English?

Thanks!
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    An American would say in Trafalgar Square and not on Trafalgar Square. << ... >>, we Americans would say that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on Fifth Avenue.

    In AmE usage, we generally say on for streets and in for squares, circles, plazas, parks, neighborhoods.
     
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    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    I would say "on Trafalgar Square" if I were referring to a building that faced onto the square. If someone said "in," then I might think they were using the name of the square to denote a little district surrounding the square proper, and thus that the building might merely be on a nearby street. Maybe I'm unusual for an American, I don't know!
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    In Trafalgar Square in my version of UK English.

    GF..

    But I could easily be out of step with other Brits..
     
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    Fabulist

    Banned
    American English
    An American would say in Trafalgar Square and not on Trafalgar Square. << ... >>, we Americans would say that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is located on Fifth Avenue.

    In AmE usage, we generally say on for streets and in for squares, circles, plazas, parks, neighborhoods.
    Like Chicagoan Glenfarcas, I would say "on Trafalgar Square" for a building that adjoins the square. I would say that the Nelson Monument is in Trafalgar Square: the paved open area of the "square" surrounds the monument. If someone took a photograph of me standing on the pavement of the square, I would say, "Here is a picture of me in Trafalgar Square."

    Trafalgar Squarites:) and their neighbours might say "in" for an adjoining building.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I agree with Fabulist and Glenfarcas, and disagree with MuttQuad: an American would say that a building which faces a square is on the square, not in the square: They were married in St. George's Church on Stuyvesant Square.
     

    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Other than the pigeons pooping, I don't remember much about Trafalgar Square ... but I think it would be helpful to know whether the National Gallery is surrounded by Trafalgar Square or only the front end of it is touching the square.

    I think we'd all agree (maybe that's a bit optimistic) that Lord Nelson's Column is in Trafalgar Square since it sits in the center and is surrounded by the area known as the square.

    I did a little Googling about Times Square and found this site, that says:
    Legendary 75-year-old club reopens in the heart of Times Square on W. 47th Street in a gorgeous four-floor space.
    Does this distinction make a difference to anyone?
     
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    NTV

    Banned
    Japanese
    At the Trafalgar Square website:
    http://www.london.gov.uk/trafalgarsquare/events/xmas.jsp
    Did you know?
    Probably the smallest police box ever built is located in Trafalgar Square, along with the statues and fountains.


    At LondonTown.com:
    http://www.londontown.com/LondonStreets/trafalgar_square_929.html
    Located on Trafalgar Square, The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of European paintings in the world.

    These examples make me wonder if located in Trafalgar Square and located on Trafalgar Square are both acceptable in British English.
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I did a little Googling about Times Square and found this site, that says:

    Legendary 75-year-old club reopens in the heart of Times Square on W. 47th Street in a gorgeous four-floor space.

    Does this distinction make a difference to anyone?
    As a matter of fact, it does. "Times Square" is being used here as the name for a district rather than for the actual square itself. Times Square (well, actually the northern half is Duffy Square, but we will call it "Times Square" for the sake of the tourists) properly so called is an open space bounded by Seventh Avenue and Broadway. The club in question is down 47th Street about 200 yards west of Broadway, and certainly does not front on Times/Duffy Square in any way.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    These examples make me wonder if located in Trafalgar Square and located on Trafalgar Square are both acceptable in British English.
    The police box is within the borders of the square. (in the square)

    The National Gallery is not within the boundary of the square, it faces onto the square. (on the square)
     

    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Hi again,

    So I see people in Britain would use "in" for both Nelson's Column in the square and the National Gallery facing the square, while American English users tend to make a distinction between monuments located in the square proper ("in Trafalgar Square") and monuments facing onto the square ("on Trafalgar Square"). I find this an interesting point; thank you all for contributing!!
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi again,

    So I see people in Britain would use "in" for both Nelson's Column in the square and the National Gallery :cross: (not for me!) facing the square, while American English users tend to make a distinction between monuments located in the square proper ("in Trafalgar Square") and monuments facing onto the square ("on Trafalgar Square"). I find this an interesting point; thank you all for contributing!!
    I am English from England susanna! My last comment agreed with the latter point of view.

    EDIT see my correction below.
     
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    susanna76

    Senior Member
    Romanian
    Oh, sorry grubble! That makes it confusing then:). Once again things are not as clear-cut as I -- and those who ask me -- would want/expect them to be ;).
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    Oh, sorry grubble! That makes it confusing then:). Once again things are not as clear-cut as I -- and those who ask me -- would want/expect them to be ;).
    Hi again.

    I am really sorry susanna to confuse things further. I have thought again. The problem with being on a forum such as this is that we pick up each other's habits of speech! :D

    On reflection, if someone were to ask me "Where is the National Gallery?" my natural response would be "It's in Trafalgar square."

    So, metaphorically standing on my head, I have changed my mind and agree with what you said... :eek:

    o I see people in Britain would use "in" for both Nelson's Column in the square and the National Gallery facing the square :tick:, while American English users tend to make a distinction between monuments located in the square proper ("in Trafalgar Square") and monuments facing onto the square ("on Trafalgar Square").
    Apologies.

    grubble
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The police box is within the borders of the square. (in the square)

    The National Gallery is not within the boundary of the square, it faces onto the square. (on the square)
    I think the distinction here is too fine. It is almost metaphysical e.g., "Are the infinitely thin lines comprising a square part of that square?" :)

    The National Gallery's address is "Trafalgar Square" The Square (although it is not 'a square') is created by the boundaries. Thus The NG is part of it, and thus "in" it.

    My house is "in Roberts Road" despite that fact that it actually borders it. Yes, it can also be "on Roberts Road" But I would never say, A. The National Gallery is located on Trafalgar Square.

    The problem seems to lie with whether "Trafalgar Square" is the whole area (address) or merely the paved centre bounded by the A4 and A400 roads. I suggest it is the whole area.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I agree with Fabulist and Glenfarcas, and disagree with MuttQuad: an American would say that a building which faces a square is on the square, not in the square: They were married in St. George's Church on Stuyvesant Square.
    Then we speak the language quite differently. No American I know would say, for instance, that the Time Warner Center is ON Columbus Circle, nor that the Marriott Marquis hotel is ON Times Square, or that Macy's in ON Herald Square. At least no New Yorker.
     
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