The correct use of Prepositions has been always challenging, even the experienced ones find it difficult to choose among them. One among such confusing prepositions is – in and on.

The choice among the two is totally circumstantial – what we are referring to.

Here are few easy rules to follow which will help you a lot in deciding whether to use in or on.

IN and On first difference 

‘In’ is used to refer when you are talking about something that is constrained/confined within a boundary. Or if we are referring to something that is kept inside.

Examples –

  • The letter is kept in the drawer.
  • Fruits are kept in the fridge.
  • Lion is kept in the cage next to the bear.

Alternatively, “ON” is used to refer to the items that are kept above something or outside of an area.


1– Keep the book on the table.

2- She has a tattoo on her arm.

3-The whole temple rests on the 4 main pillars.

IN and ON second difference-

“In” is used to refer to the moments enclosed within time, therefore, to refer to days, months, years or with other  parts of the day, seasons , etc..


  • The match has been rescheduled in July.
  • I prefer to go for a walk in the morning.
  • Biggest Tsunami occurred way back in 2004.

“On” is used to refer  to dates and days. It is also used to refer  to the special days and occasions. It can also be used to refer to things which are not bound or confined.


  • The market remains closed on Sundays.
  • The judgement on Harry’s case will come on 23rd of March.
  • The pollution levels are very high on New Year due to the massive firecrackers celebration all over the world.

IN and ON third difference-

While “ON” used with street names, “IN” is used with names of cities, towns, provinces, states, and countries.

1- There are a number of casinos in Las Vegas than any other place in the world.

2- Sherlock Holmes lives on 213, Baker Street.

3-Olympics will be held in Rio, Brazil this year.


To sum this all up –

‘In’ is used to refer to something that is confined or is kept inside of something. While ‘ON’ is used to refer to something which is kept above and outside any boundaries. ‘In’ used to refer to month or year  while ‘ON’ is used to refer to the date, day. And to refer to streets name we use ‘IN’ while for country or city name we use ‘ON’.




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