The door has a single glass pane in the top and the bottom is wooden


The door has a single glass pane on the top and the bottom is wooden

What is the difference between them?


X on Y is used when Y is a flat surface, and X is touching it. It's also used to express "stacking" - and when we use words like "top" and "bottom", we are thinking of things as "stackable."

In this case the writer/speaker is considering the upper area of the door that has glass panes to be an area stacked upon the rest of the door. It's common to make this logical leap with tall things that can be decorated.

X in Y means X is surrounded by Y. A glass pane is certainly surrounded by the rest of the door when it is installed.

So both are correct

  • Correct language, however, architecturally might be different. X on Y might mean that there is no frame around the glass pane. X in Y suggests it is framed. – MikeP Aug 23 '16 at 17:33

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.