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On the phrase:

Next week, renovations on the backyard will be made.

is the correct preposition "on" or "in"?

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"Renovations on your backyard" mean that the backyard will be improved.

"Renovations in your backyard means that is the location of the renovation. While that usually means the backyard is being renovated, it is conceivable that the renovations are being done to something nearby, such as a tool shed, the rear of the house, or a fence along a neighbour's yard, which don't affect the backyard but require work to be done there.

"On" is the more precise version (telling you what is being renovated) but "in" is used, too (to talk about the location of the renovation).

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  • True, but we can also say: Backyard renovations will be carried out.
    – Lambie
    Nov 17, 2023 at 14:36
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Let's say I have an old garage with an old car inside it.

Renovations will be done on the car.

This means the car will be renovated.

Renovations will be done on the garage.

This means the garage will be renovated.

Renovations will be done in the garage.

This sentence is ambiguous. It could mean we are renovating the car while it's inside the garage, but it could also mean we are renovating the inside of the garage.

Renovations will be done to the garage.

This means the garage will be renovated, but these renovations could be on the outside of the garage (for example, a new roof) or on the inside (for example, new paint on the walls).

Renovations will be done in the car.

This means the interior of the car will be renovated (for example, repairing the seat upholstery, not repainting the fenders or replacing the bumpers).

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