on/in the earth

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quietdandelion

Banned
Formosa/Chinese
The Japanese believe that before an earthquake strikes, there are nearly imperceptible tremors on/in the earth.




Which prep. would you use in the above context? Thanks.
 
  • nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    The Japanese believe that before an earthquake strikes, there are nearly imperceptible tremors on/in the earth.




    Which prep. would you use in the above context? Thanks.
    I would use "on".


    Edit: Do you like my new outfit? :D
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    It's on because the Japanese can sense them on the face of the Earth not in(side) it, I believe.


    Tom
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    Ok, so they probably have the equipment that enables them to sense the tremors inside the Earth, they (i.e. the Japanese) meaning seismologists.. In case of on, I thought the Japanese referred to ordinary people who could sense them not having any special equipment.


    Tom
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)/English(AE)
    Ok, so they probably have the equipment that enables them to sense the tremors inside the Earth, they (i.e. the Japanese) meaning seismologists.. In case of on, I thought the Japanese referred to ordinary people who could sense them not having any special equipment.


    Tom
    Same here :p
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    Hi, everybody.

    I would say "in". In fact, I have heard about such tremors deep within the earth. The tremors would be mild Earth quakes, not air quakes. I don't think above-ground phenomena (weather, etc.) are relevant.

    I say the tremors are in the earth and are barely perceptible on the surface.
     

    Thomas1

    Senior Member
    polszczyzna warszawska
    I think I get what you say, but there's still something that doesn't let me forget that tumors can be perceptible on the earth.

    This is how I understand it :

    The Japanese believe that before an earthquake strikes, there are nearly imperceptible tremors on the earth.
    the tremors are almost imperceptible on the surface, the Japanese (= people who are at the moment in the area of tremors) can feel them on the surface (they are coming from the inside of the earth, that's logical since it's rather unlikely that the soure is different),

    The Japanese believe that before an earthquake strikes, there are nearly imperceptible tremors in the earth.
    the tremors are almost imperceptible in the earth, the equipment is not sensitive enough to note their occurence so the Japanese (=seismographers, scientists) carry out specialistic researches tjo find out more on the whole proscess of earth quakes.

    What do you think about such an understanding?


    In the context of the whole (quietdandelion posted more sentences in other threads) in is indeed much better.


    Tom
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I have a recollection of hearing about or seeing a TV documentary which contends that certain animal species can sense an earthquake's onset. If there are any valid studies of that phenomynon the tremors would seem to be on the surface.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    The tremors in the earth are felt/heard on the surface by some people/animals. I think we are talking about a sound that travels to the surface from the tremors within the earth.
     

    Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Forero is correct about the sequence. However, it would seem that the final step of the tremor process would be the shaking and the quaking that a horse might feet. In the context wanted by QD I would have to call it on.
     

    emma42

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would say "in". The tremors are more "in"side the earth than on it. Also, "imperceptible" to what or to whom? To humans? To human-made machinery/technology?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I think you could also say "on the surface of the earth". This seems very broad, though. It doesn't seem to pinpoint the tremors as appearing near the epicenter of the quake. (We had a 4.5 quake in Los Angeles last night, which was more than barely perceptible. :) )

    Another way would be to say "nearly imperceptible ground tremors."

    "on the earth" seems either too specific to me, which brings to mind an image of tillled ground in a field, or too broad, as in "someday there will be peace on the earth."
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    I meant to say that it depends on the order of the words:

    "..., there are nearly imperceptible tremors in the earth."
    "..., there are tremors nearly imperceptible on the earth."

    What we encounter on the surface is the "signal" (sound, temperature, smell - whatever) of the tremors. The tremors themselves are within the earth but we are not down there to perceive them, so we perceive them up here on the surface because of the "signal".

    Suppose I am on the street, and I can barely see a man in his house. I can say "I see a barely visible man in his house" and "I see a man barely visible from the street." I would not say "I see a man barely visible in his house", because "barely visible" probably does not apply to the man himself within the house.
     
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