In vs on?

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When it comes to preposition, I always feel uncomfortable.

By reading sentences with 'in or on or of', I intuitively guess the meaning of sentence.

(although, sometimes there are phrasal verbs which have totally different meanings...)

But the problem is when it comes to write.

e.g.

There has been an inflation in the price of fruit recently.

There is an increase in the Net Profit of the company.

There is a slight decrease in the price of Computer games....

...

Now, I see sentences which I think have very much the same meaning.

e.g.

It is mostly an increase of Net Income. It basically illustrates an increase in profits and can sometimes can illustrate a decrease on expenses or a combination in both

...

These must be very (x10) basic grammer stuff.

Or did you, I mean native speakers, did you also find diffculty in understanding the difference in prepositions when you were in primary school?

Because even with this basic stuff, I still couldn't figure out ... after living in Australasia for over 10 years now.

Particulary with prepositions... decrease in or decrease on ...

I look up the dictionary, but isn't clear...how does it affect the meaning, or are they interchangeable.

Unless I was born in Western Europe where the grammar structure likely to be very much similar, just like between Japanese and Korean, probably, the best way must be keep on studying and asking, I think. I mean that's I found out.

I wish I could ask such a question to my parents or sisters...I mean if there had English-Mother tongue or unless myself started from Primary school. I started from High school though....

Sorry...and thanks for reading all that.

e.g.

a decrease on expenses

If 'on' is used instead of 'in', does that simply mean the expense was decreased...? just like a decreas in expenses? I intuitively feel there is a slight difference, but I can't put it in words...also also

a decrease of expense = a decrease on expenses

a decrease of expense = a decrease in expense

thus

a decrease on expenses = a decrease in expense

Same meaning? seems very logic though...
Full Member313
Approved answer (verified by )
I would never say "a decrease on."

The difference between "in" and "on" the street is important in the US. If you are IN the street, you are where the cars travel. In the UK, they use "in" the street the way we say "on" on the street.

It's very idiomatic and it's hard to learn which is what. In most cases, you won't be misunderstood.
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Anonymous:
Don't worry: native speakers don't agree on prepositions, either. Some say in/on an elevator; some say in/on a chair; and in California, you stand IN line, but in New York you stand ON line. Furthermore, there are some differences between American and British English. I suggest you keep a notebook with lots of examples that you can get from reading newspapers online. Try to read American newspapers (for American English) or British newspapers (for British English). Which English is better? As we say in the United States, I would not touch that question with a ten-foot pole!
Thanks for your reply.

So did you mean that 'decrease in ' and 'decrease on' are the same? just like 'in street' and 'on street'?
Anonymous:
"On the street" and "in the street" are not always the same. In any case, I don't feel qualified to answer your concerns about "decrease." I can understand "There is a decrease in expenses" and "Expenses are on the decrease," but I cannot help you with an in-depth answer. Please post another question about "Decrease," and some senior or veteran member will answer you.
Thank you, Anonymous and Mrs. Grammer Geek.

They are really of great help!
How about "In train" vs "On train"... As per the defination of "In", when something is physically residing in something, and is surounded by limitations etc, we use "In", and in order to suggest something's position on surface of something etc we use "On"... so as per that, "In train" should be correct thing, but I heard many people saying "On train/Bus" etc. Is either in/on correct in this context?
New Member01
I would only say "on the train" or "on the bus" in reference to being a passenger.

Note that you omitted the articles.
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victorycountrythe problem is when it comes to write.
...
I see sentences which I think have very much the same meaning.
e.g.
It is mostly an increase of Net Income. It basically illustrates an increase in profits and can sometimes can illustrate a decrease on expenses or a combination in bothIf you're writing, just use "increase in" and "decrease in". I have no idea why the writer you quote used "of" or "on". Personally, I would never have used those. Some writers just have idiosyncratic ways of writing. You don't have to imitate that sort of thing to write well. Emotion: smile

CJ

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