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What is it correct?
1. My documents are in/on/at the Computer?
Thanks a lot for your help.
Robson
Comments  
Hi,
the correct version is:

1. My documents are in the computer.

"My douments are on the computer" is correct when u have placed some physical documents (files,papers) on the top of ur computer which is always flat Emotion: smile
'at' can never be used in the above context.
hope that helps.
I disagree. Everybody that I have encountered says:
* on the computer
* on the hard drive
* on drive C:
* in the "My Documents" folder
* on chip
* in RAM
* in ROM (for built-in silicon ROMs, not for CD or DVD ROMs)
* on DVD ROM (or CD ROM)

I would only use the phrase "in the computer" in a sentence like "The motherboard is in the computer" (meaning physically inside the case).

Of course, all of these phrases only make sense in the context of a non-sentient computer. If the computer were in fact an AI, you wouldn't say either - any more than you'd say "The information is in the human".

Rommie
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Thanks that's quite helpful.
It gets worse...
* in the zip file
* in the database
* in the archive
* on the server
* on the internet (or web or net)
* on the web page
* in the email

Some of these seem variable. I have heard both "in the database" and "on the database".

Quite why it should be "on the web page" but "in the email" is beyond me. It would be interesting to know how some of these arose.
Thanks for those. Pretty useful, Romie. (y)
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Hi Rommie,

I keep studying preposition all the time.. They are very difficult to remember!

Maybe it is on the web page, because we say "on the page" and "in the email" bacause we say "in the letter"?
If I may I would add the following twist to this thread.

In the context of where information is held or displayed, specifically with reference to information technology, I think there is a tendancy to use 'on' where the actual location of something is less tangible. Where experienced computer users will refer explicitly to specific devices and components, drives and media, others will say 'on the computer' as a catch-all.

I would also suggest that it's usage in relation to IT derives from the way in which such information is viewed, namely on a visual display unit. Because we always refer to images viewed 'on' a screen and as we view computer information this way, we describe content as being 'on the computer' or 'on the website'.

I find the use of 'in the database' and 'on the database' interesting.
You might equally well hear 'your details are not on our database' and 'your details are not in our database', I still believe the former persists because of the use of a screen where database information is displayed. It depends on the depth of understanding of the technology by the speaker and how they visualise data storage. If you visualise a device as being a container of some sort you will use 'in' otherwise 'on'.
... I have been doing a study on the difference between the words 'in' and 'on.' I have found that 'in' locates, whereas 'on' is a progressive word meaning towards. In 2 Timothy 1:5 it says that faith dwelt 'in' Lois, Eunice and Timothy. In other words the faith 'was located' (in) these three people. And in Acts 16:31 we are to 'believe 'on' Jesus Christ. Man's faith is a progressive, an on-going faith. It is a belief that continues ('on'). On does not necessarily nor specifically locate, but it is an on-going, a motion forward. >-> In other words - 'in' is a locative word ... whereas 'on' is a word of progression, onward.

Ronn Johnson
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