a pathole [pothole] in / on the street

EGREGR

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Hello. What's the appropriate preposition to use in this case?
A pathole in the street or a pathole on the street?
Or maybe are both of them right? In this case, have they a slightly difference in meaning?
Thanks in advance.
 
  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    Hola EGREGR
    Por favor danos una oración completa como ejemplo del uso de la frase.
    Y tal como han dicho, ¿seguro que no es pothole?
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    What's the appropriate preposition to use in this case?
    A pothole in the street or a pothole on the street?

    "In" is the correct preposition, since the hole has depth and doesn't exist only on the surface of the street. As a general rule, "in" conveys the nuance of "on the inside of," although there are many exceptions to that rule.
     

    EGREGR

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Spain
    Yes, excuse me. It was pothole.
    I have seen both in and on used with pothole. ("in a road/on a road")
    I would have said that the correct preposition would be on, because I see it on the surface of the street. But, as you has said, it is not only on the surface.
    Thanks for your help.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    You could use "on" if you named the street (in AmEn), such as "There are lots of potholes on Main Street," because that is referring to the location of the street, as on a map.
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    You could use "on" if you named the street (in AmEn), such as "There are lots of potholes on Main Street," because that is referring to the location of the street, as on a map.

    As gengo says, this is AE usage. In BrE, I would use 'in' here too.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    As gengo says, this is AE usage. In BrE, I would use 'in' here too.

    I know that in BrEn the traditional rule has been what you say. That is, while we Americans would say "the butcher shop is on Oxford Street," you Britons would say "the butcher shop is in Oxford Street." However, I believe that is beginning to change, as you can see in this graph of British-English usage. That reflects what I hear on British TV shows as well.
     
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