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Thread: sitting in and sitting on

  1. #1
    Senior Member kawyn's Avatar
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    Default sitting in and sitting on

    one of my jtes just asked me why the text talked about sitting IN priority seats when you are technically sitting ON the seat

    how do i answer him?

  2. #2
    Senior Member kamukamuume's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kawyn View Post
    one of my jtes just asked me why the text talked about sitting IN priority seats when you are technically sitting ON the seat

    how do i answer him?
    "we ask that all passengers remain in their seats until the vehicle comes to a complete stop." "on your seats" would sound like they're all standing on their seats.

    so maybe that's part of it? what is "you" here? you as a physical entity aren't on the seat--your rear end is, but you're above the seat, in front of the seat, and under the seat, depending on the frame of reference.

    I think the main thing, though, is that it's a set phrase. we started saying it for whatever reason--perhaps the typical seat at one point was very cushy, had big arms, and basically sitting in it was being contained within it--and now any other preposition sounds weird.

  3. #3
    Feckless Manchild Otaku word's Avatar
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    Default Re: sitting in and sitting on

    That's how I explained it when I was asked about this--I stood on the chair and said "I'm on the chair," then sat in it and explained, "I'm in the chair." I just explained that it was a weird quirky thing about English...
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  4. #4
    Senior Member kawyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: sitting in and sitting on

    thanks for the replies guys!

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