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  1. My father always goes to university ______ car (by/ in/ on).

My teacher said that the answer is 'in'. But I think it should be 'by' because after 'by' we don't use articles, but I am not sure about that.

So, please can anyone help me?

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    It depends on what the wording after the preposition is: "by bus," "in a suit and tie," "on time," for example. – Sven Yargs May 26 '16 at 17:36
  • You need to give the rest of the sentence. All of these are correct: 1 My father always goes to university by bus. 2) My father always goes to university in Australia. 3) My father always goes to university on foot 4) My father always goes to university with anticipation...etc. – DJClayworth May 26 '16 at 17:37
  • By car, bus, train, etc. indicates a mode of transportation, chosen from various possible options. Other prepositional phrases about time or clothing are irrelevant here. "In car" is not a typical phrase in English. (Neither is "on car."). You could say "in his car," though. – Steven Littman May 28 '16 at 1:36
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You are right and your teacher is wrong.

'in' always takes an article (or some other determiner) with a noun here (unless the noun is uncountable)

WRONG: My father always goes to university in car.

WRONG: My father always goes to university on car.

RIGHT: My father always goes to university in a car.

RIGHT: My father always goes to university in the car.

RIGHT: My father always goes to university in his car.

RIGHT: My father always goes to university by car.

  • Right.  But the list of special cases goes on and on.  It should be pointed out that, while by bus and by train are also correct, it is acceptable (and, IMO, more common) to say “on the bus” or “on the train”.  Even then, there are exceptions: “My father went to work on the bus. He took off his hat and accidentally left it in the bus.”    (But you would never say “on the car” unless you meant “on the outside”; e.g., “He has a decal on the car that shows that he is allowed to use the private parking lot.”) – Scott May 26 '16 at 22:47
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    Any determiner will do, not just an article: My father always goes to university in his car, and so on. – choster May 27 '16 at 22:23
  • @Scott--It seems to me that saying that your father went to work on the bus relates what happened one specific time. If you say that he goes to work by bus, it indicates his usual routine. – Steven Littman May 28 '16 at 1:32

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