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If you look at "site" in any dictionary

We always use "on" before "site"

For example, Nothing can be built on this site.

And, If you look at "hole" in any dictionary.

We always use "in" after "hole"

For example, She drilled a small hole in the wall.

Now, if we combine these 2 words together, there will be a dilemma.

Do we say "there is a hole in the site" or "there is a hole on the site"?

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    What do you mean by "hole" and "site" here? I'm having trouble visualising the context, but if it's a building site where someone has dug a hole (for drainage, or whatever), you'd probably go for the "surface" reference (on) rather than the "container" allusion (in). But that's a very unusual context, so there's little point in thinking about "established, correct" usage. Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:06
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    "There's a hole in the ground on the building site"? Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:31
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    In many cases I'd say "at the site" is more idiomatic, but as Kate says we need more context. Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 18:42
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    I read the news today, oh boy ... Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 19:08
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    Your generalizations about prepositions such as in and on are incorrect. She drilled a small hole through the wall, is perfectly fine. Nothing can be built next to this site, is also perfectly fine. When it comes to preposition usage, always never applies.
    – EllieK
    Commented Jan 18, 2023 at 21:38

1 Answer 1

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We say "there is a hole in the site." This is because "in" is used to indicate that something is contained within a larger area or space, while "on" is used to indicate that something is in contact with the surface of an object. In this case, the hole is within the boundaries of the site.

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  • Sounds like a hole at the site.
    – Lambie
    Commented Feb 15 at 16:26

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