the books on the shelf or the books in the shelf


which is grammatically correct?  The books ON the shellf are new or The books IN the shelf are new.

Thanks  for your help ;-)

asked Jan 11 '13 at 22:00 tchraim New member

1 answer


'in' implies that the field is enclosed, whereas 'on' implies only that the following noun denotes a surface and not necessarily an enclosed area.


The sheep are grazing in the pasture. (enclosed by a fence)
The cattle are grazing on the open range. (not enclosed by a fence )

similarly... self is open not enclosed by anything , so the logic follows there too and 'on' is used instead of 'in' ....

link comment answered Jun 05 '14 at 10:02 sourav New member

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