Up in/ up on

  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'In' doesn't mean 'inside'. 'In' is much more general (though it often has a sense 'partly inside'): very typical uses are birds in a tree, flowers in a vase, swimmers in a pool, cows in a field. None of those are like being 'in' a box or a house.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    'In' doesn't mean 'inside'. 'In' is much more general (though it often has a sense 'partly inside'): very typical uses are birds in a tree, flowers in a vase, swimmers in a pool, cows in a field. None of those are like being 'in' a box or a house.
    But the swimmers are inside the pool. So what does "in" mean when whe are talking about birds in trees?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    But the swimmers are inside the pool. So what does "in" mean when whe are talking about birds in trees?
    In = surrounded by an item or object.

    The bird is in the tree because it is surrounded by the volume and within the limits of the tree.

    We put things in a jar and then those things are surrounded (on most sides) by the jar.

    The bird might be on a branch of the tree

    On describes an object that is superficial -> upon the surface of something -> the bird is on the surface of the branch.

    He is on the island = He is on the surface of the island - perhaps as opposed to being in the sea where his body was surrounded by seawater.
     

    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    In = surrounded by an item or object.

    The boy is in the tree because he is surrounded by the volume and within the limits of the tree.

    We put things in a jar and then those things are surrounded (on most sides) by the jar.

    On describes an object that is superficial -> upon the surface of something -> He is on the island = He is on the surface of the island - perhaps as opposed to being in the sea where his body was surrounded by seawater.
    What is a superficial object?
     
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    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    The word "strict" is not appropriate.

    Please use our dictionary if you do not know the meaning of a word: superficial - WordReference.com Dictionary of English

    Superficial = on the surface. He has superficial burns to his arm -> He has burns on his arm but they have only affected the surface of the skin of the arm.
    But I thought that in strict terms was a expression in AE since strict can mean "absolute" depending on the context. For example, in strict medical terms, in strict sence, in strict interpretation, in strict legal terms, etc.
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    But I thought that in strict terms was a expression in AE since strict can mean "absolute" depending on the context. For example, in strict medical terms, in strict sense, in strict interpretation, in strict legal terms, etc.
    In strict [adj.] terms is a expression in all forms of English (with the possible exception of Pigin.")

    If you are curious about your use of strict, and its meaning, you should ask in a new post.:thumbsup:
     
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    gabriel001234

    Senior Member
    Portuguese
    In strict terms is a expression in all forms of English (with the possible exception of Pigin."

    If you are curious about your use of strict, and its meaning, you should ask in a new post.:thumbsup:
    Ok, thanks for your answer, but I don't know why it was wrong since it can be used to say "absolute".
     
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