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I have a sentence improvement question .

Don't sit in the grass. It's wet.

A) on

B) no improvement

Which one is correct answer ? Google shows sentences with both ( on & in ).

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    It probably depends on how deep the grass is. Over a certain height (an imprecise measurement, to be sure) it would make sense to say "sit in the grass."
    – Robusto
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:36
  • @Robusto That's what I too had in my mind . If grass is tall enough it should be in and if its short then it should be on . But there is nothing mentioned as such in question and it was asked in my exam. What should be appropriate answer ? No improvement ?
    – user212388
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:40
  • "on the grass" would be the much more common usage. Most grassy areas where you want to sit down would not be waist-high (and if it was, you'd be well aware that it was wet!).
    – SteveES
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:45

1 Answer 1

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Both are correct. It depends on how the speaker/writer is thinking about the grass.

A bordered area, that contains grass or anything else, is both flat (works with on) and has borders which you can be inside and outside of (works with in).

If the speaker/writer is concerned with the border, in would probably be used. This could be the tendency if the area of grass is small and is not something meant to be walked on. It also might be used to refer to grass directly off the side of a road.

In the middle of a grassy field you are usually on the grass unless talking about types of terrain on a map, which again falls in the category of being concerned with the borders of different areas.

However, if you are placing something "on top of" the grass, such as yourself, then you are concerned with the surface that is the grass (not whether you are in/out of the area of grass), and you want to use on. So A is the correct answer.

@Robusto also brings up a good point that if the grass is tall, you can be in it in the same way you are in a pool of water.

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  • You are right . I too had same thing in my mind but just confused between ON and IN because there is no mention of height / border of grass in question .
    – user212388
    Commented May 25, 2017 at 12:42

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