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What's the difference between in the road and on the road?
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in the road generally focuses on the space between the edges of the road; on the road generally focuses on the surface of the road; on the road is also an idiom meaning traveling (by car, truck, etc.).

We couldn't get through because there was a herd of sheep in the road / on the road.
It's dangerous for children to play in the road / on the road.

A truck overturned, and gallons of toxic liquid spilled on the road.
After the rain there was a lot of water on the road.

If we got up at 5, we could be on the road by 6.


CJ
Do we say, "The children are playing on the field" or "The children are playing in the field" ?
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Yoong LiatDo we say, "The children are playing on the field" or "The children are playing in the field" ?
My immediate reaction: on the field = a specific contained playing area; in the field = outdoors, in the open, grassy area. Not sure this is a valid distinction. Others can help.
Yes I don't know why but I feel as though there is a difference depending on the type of field.

If it is a specific leisure/sports area, I'd say on the field.

If it is just a field not really intended for playing on, I'd say 'in'.

As a child I used to play in the fields behind my house. We used to play football on the playing field.
Nona is right. There is a difference with regard to the type of field.

On the field he is a very aggresive sportsman.

There are cows grazing in the fields.
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Nona The BritYes I don't know why but I feel as though there is a difference depending on the type of field. If it is a specific leisure/sports area, I'd say on the field. If it is just a field not really intended for playing on, I'd say 'in'. As a child I used to play in the fields behind my house. We used to play football on the playing field.
Am I correct to say that it depends on the size of the field? Use 'on' when the field is small. For example, a school field is usually not too big to be considered large. As Maple said, "The cows are grazing in the field." The field in which cows graze should be much larger than a school field.
No I think it's more to do with the purpose of the field.

An agricultural field is always 'in', even if it is tiny.

Some playing fields are quite large with several football pirches for example. They would still be 'on'.
it depends on the size of the field?
No. Not at all. I'd go with Nona here. It's the purpose of the field that determines the choice of preposition.

CJ
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