pull the boat into/onto the sea

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Senior Member
out in/on the sea, fishing

I went to join a child-oriented English class with my kid.
The teacher from the US told them a story, along with pictures projected on a wall to help them understand.

The main character Pinocchio tried to save his father, who had been swallowed by a whale.
In one picture was a boat on the beach, and the teacher said, "Let's help Pinocchio pull it into the sea."

If someone said "pull a boat into the sea," I would feel he was talking about sinking the boat.

So I might say, "Let's help Pinocchio pull it onto the sea."

On second thought, did the teacher think THE SEA was an area, as opposed to the beach, so he used "into the sea."

Would you use "pull a boat into the sea" or "pull it onto the sea" in this example? Is there any other more idiomatic ways to say it?

Thank you very much.
  • kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The trouble with pulling is you would have to be standing (or swimming) in the water to do it. Most people don't launch boats that way. They might pull them out of the water, but they don't pull them into the water. We would push a boat into the water. And it should definitely be into. Boats don't sit on top of the water in that very immediate context. If you think about the entire ocean, maybe they are on top of the water. But right in front of you, they slide into the water where parts are below the waterline and parts are above.
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