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Given: Your son is in the front seat, and you are in the driver's seat.

Required: You want him to sit in the back seat whether you state it or not

Which is correct?

  1. Get at/in the back, son
  2. Get at/in the back of the car, son
  3. Get at/in the back seat, son

What would native speakers informally say? (get ..., hop... etc)

Your answers are appreciated

  • I think your question reads better without the part "weather you state it or not". As it is, your question confuses me a bit because the choices you gave are to be stated or said to the son, I suppose. – Damkerng T. Oct 20 '14 at 11:31
  • All the sentences above are to be said. Your intention is to make your son sit in the back seat with the condition he is currently in the front seat. However, what's spoken doesn't always convey what's intended. Feel free to ask for more clarification if it's not clear enough @DamkerngT. – learner Oct 20 '14 at 11:52
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    Also, "get in the back son" has "the back son" as an object. You probably meant "get in the back, son" - "son" here is an expression of direct address. – Kreiri Oct 20 '14 at 15:04
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Get in the back (seat)(,son).
Sit in the back (seat)(,son).

A. in is the correct preposition
B. back and back seat are preferable to back of the car, since by context we are talking about the car
C. likewise, its not necessary to say son (context, context)
D. sit tells the son that he will not only be getting in the back, but remaining in the back. But this can also be inferred by context.

I, personally, would most likely say

I need you to get/sit in the back.

And then, depending upon his age or mood, my child would probably ask Why? To which I would explain:

Your uncle is sitting in the front.

We are picking up Sam, and it's her turn for the front.

I've got these papers (sitting) in the front, and I don't want them messed up.

Point to, or quote, the warning tag about the airbag that says "The safest place for children to sit is the back seat."

Because I told you so.

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"Get in the back" or "Get in the back seat" would both be appropriate and commonly used. You could definitely also use 'hop' in this case - "Hop in the back". I also wouldn't be surprised in speech to hear these truncated even more to "Hop/Get in back" or simply "Back seat!". You would not hear "Hop/Get in back seat" (without the article), though. In American English, the 'at' preposition would not be used in any of the cases you've presented.

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