On vs In

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What’s the difference between them?



On is a preposition used to indicate position, location, or direction.


1. On Monday, I'm going to the store.

2. The TV was left on all night.

3. We were on our way to the park.



In is a preposition that is used to indicate location, direction, or time.


1. In the summertime, we like to go swimming.

2. In the morning, I like to drink a cup of coffee.

3. In the future, I hope to travel to Italy.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference




1. Above

2. Over

3. Upon

4. Atop

5. In the vicinity of

1. Off

2. Away

3. Below

4. Inverse

5. Contrary


1. Inside

2. Within

3. Enclosed

4. Interior

5. Embedded

1. Out

2. Negative

3. Dislike

4. Stop

5. Abandonment of

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "On", "In".

1. 'On' is primarily used to indicate a physical position or direction (e.g. 'She put the book on the table.') 2. Whereas, 'In' is used to indicate a position within something (e.g. 'She put the book in the box.')

2. 'On' is also used to denote a time (e.g. 'Let's meet on Tuesday.')

3. Whereas, 'In' is used to denote a period of time (e.g. 'I will see you in two weeks.')

4. Think of the phrase 'On Top' when using 'On'. This will help you remember that 'On' is used to indicate physical position or direction.

5. Think of the phrase 'Within Time' when using 'In'. This will help you remember that 'In' is used to indicate a position within something or a period of time.

Practice English with the Promova app and avoid misusing confusing words

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

The word 'On' is used to indicate position, location, or direction. For example, if you are talking about the surface of something, you might say 'On the table' or 'On the wall'.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

The word 'In' is used to indicate location, direction, or time. For example, you could say 'In the room', 'In the past two days', or 'In the car'.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

No, the two words do not share the same pronunciation. 'On' is pronounced as /ɑn/, while 'In' is pronounced as /ɪn/.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make is using 'In' when they should use 'On', or vice versFor example, they might say 'In the table' or 'On the room' instead of 'On the table' or 'In the room'. Additionally, people might forget the difference between when to use 'On' and 'In' to indicate time. For example, you would say 'On Monday', but 'In the month of June'.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The books are right there _____ the table.

2. She lives _____ Paris, the city of love.

3. The cat jumped _____ the couch to take a nap.

4. We learned about ancient civilizations _____ our history class.

5. Theres a beautiful painting _____ the wall opposite the kitchen.

6. Ill meet you _____ the coffee shop down the street.

1. On

Explanation: Tables have flat surfaces upon which items can be placed. When objects rest on these surfaces, we typically use on to describe their location.

2. In

Explanation: When referring to living within the boundaries of a city or country, in is the correct preposition.

3. On

Explanation: Similar to the table, when something is atop the surface of another object, like a couch, we use on.

4. In

Explanation: When discussing topics that are a part of a broader subject or within the context of a class, we use in.

5. On

Explanation: For items attached to wall surfaces, such as paintings or clocks, the preposition on is used.

6. In

Explanation: We use in to describe being inside a building or establishment.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.