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Prepositions in Transportation

As a follow up to our recent blog post about prepositions in time, place, and location, we wanted to dive in to the confusing world of prepositions as they relate to transportation. Have you noticed that in English you say “get in the car” but you would say “get on the train”? Both are describing being inside, so why don’t they both use in?

Things you get on: train, plane, bus, boat
When talking about commercial or public transportation, such as a train or plane, use the preposition on.

The passengers are on the plane.
We need to get on this bus.
Manuel is waiting for us on the boat.

Things you get in: taxi, car, truck
When it comes to personal modes of transportation, such as a taxi or a car, use the preposition in.

She got in the taxi.
I am already in the car.
The boxes are loaded in the van.

As a general rule, you can choose a preposition based on the public/private modes of transportation, but (as any English learner knows) there are exceptions to every rule! Are there other prepositions that you struggle with? Share with us!


Jessica Weeg
Jess is a Public Relations Associate at Voxy, and recently graduated from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!). She enjoys travelling, cooking, and playing volleyball. “The culture of this company is unbelievable. Everyone is having a lot of fun and working very hard- we’re going to accomplish some great things this summer!”