Consider the two sentence :

  1. The library is in the north side of the quad.
  2. The library is on the north side of the quad.

The number 1. above is incorrect as I ran an automated grammar check.
Here there are two preposition involved - in and on But what's the reason for it ?


When it comes to a road, or a street, "in" the road means something is actually occupying the road surface where cars drive, for example:

There is a man standing in the road.

We refer to all the buildings etc that may be at either side of a specified road and use that road name as their address as being "on" the road, for example:

There is a supermarket on that road.

We also use "on the road" in a more general sense to refer to things that are actually in contact with the road surface, for example:

There are too many cars on the road.

  • There is one confusion. So using cars on the road is correct I get that. But what about using man in the road. That sounds correct if we think as someone standing in the middle of the road. Shouldn't this be also man standing on the road Feb 16 '21 at 15:02
  • @Amitwadhwa "on the road" is an idiomatic way of referring to a roadworthy vehicle. Cars are sold "on the road", meaning they are taxed and ready to drive away. A car that is "off the road" is either broken down, or garaged for some reason. If, for example, a car rolled into the middle of the road, blocking it, we would say "there is a car in the road", because that is its precise location.
    – Astralbee
    Feb 18 '21 at 15:32

Since a quad is an open plane, a building is on it, and not in it. Also, on the left-hand side; on the north side, etc.

  • But by the same logic shouldn't a person be on the road ? I checked on the grammarly.com looks like person on the road and person in the road both are correct Feb 16 '21 at 15:01

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