What Is the Difference Between Get in the Car and Get on the Car?


Is it in the Car or on the Car?

What Is the Difference Between Get in the Car and Get on the Car?

When talking about transport we usually use three prepositions which are ‘in’, ‘on’, and ‘by’. The question is how can we decide which preposition to use? Certainly, there exist some guidelines that help us make the right choice. We can summarize these guidelines in these three factors:

  1. Regularly scheduled nature of the transportation
  2. Normal position (sitting in or ability to walk on)
  3. Size of a vehicle relative to a human body

As a general rule, we say Carl gets in a vehicle when usually there is no space to walk around or to move around freely. In this situation, Carl can only get inside of it. Correspondingly, we say

  • Carl gets in a car
  • Carl gets in a van
  • Carl gets in a lorry
  • Carl gets in a taxi
  • Carl gets in an ambulance

Carl gets in anything that is a small space and where he can only sit down without moving or walking around.

Then again, when the means of transportation is large enough to allow someone to get inside and walk or move around freely, hence we say get on it. Accordingly, we say:

  • Sophia gets on a bus
  • Sophia gets on a coach
  • Sophia gets on a train
  • Sophia gets on a ship
  • Sophia gets on a plane

With this in mind, when talking about bicycles or animals we should say:

  • Madeline gets on a bicycle
  • Madeline gets on a motorcycle
  • Madeline gets on a horse
  • Madeline gets on a camel

In that case, I can get on a bike simply because I cannot get inside the bike. Equally, I can get on a camel/ horse because I cannot get inside of it.

Remember if we say for example Bill is on a car or Bill is on an ambulance, that would be wrong being that Bill is standing or sitting on the roof of the car.

As a whole, The preposition “In” gives a sense of being enclosed. On the other hand, the preposition “On” is used with more free and open space.

Also, we usually use the preposition “By” when we consider using general means of transportation. Let us have a look at these examples:

  • Anastasia traveled by car to visit her parents
  • Emilia’s kids go to school by bus
  • Lyly goes to school by foot

“By” is a general preposition we use to state generically the kind of transport, that is, the regular mode of transport we frequently use: I go to work by car.

is it in the car or on the car
What Is the Difference Between Get in the Car and Get on the Car?

Which Is Correct, “On the Train” or “In the Train”?

As already stated, “on the train” is the correct form. If we say for example “John is in the train” it means that John is in some part of a train that is not for passengers.

Is It Get Off the Car or Get Out the Car?

As a whole, “get off” or “get off something” means to physically disembark or climb off something, such as a bus, a train, a plane.

  • The children asked their mother to get off the bus and walk the rest of the way.
  • It is going to take us a while to get off the plane since we are in the last row.
  • When the train stopped, she got off.

We use “to get out” when chiefly means to leave or escape. For example:

  • We got out of the taxi at the station

We can also say to get out of a lift, a plane, or a small boat.

How Do You Use Get Off? “To Get Off” Examples Sentences:

  • Madison gets off at the next station.
  • Get off my bike, you little Ricky!
  • Don’t get off your bicycle, Amanda.
  • The criminals had to stop the train and get off.
  • Where did you go Samantha? I didn’t see you get off the bus.

How Do You Use “Get In”? “Get In” Examples Sentences:

  • He invited us to get in the car and go for a ride with him.
  • Mum got in the back seat with the kids, and Billy got in the front seat with his dad.
  • He left his jacket in the limousine.
  • Tyler ordered her to get in the car.
  • Their mother got in the car and kept the children from jumping.
  •  Both of them get in the car and go visit their parents.
  • Suzan right away gets in her car and drives to Florida.
  • His intention was to get in the car and drive reluctantly.

How Do You Use “Get On”? “Get On” Examples Sentences:

  • Emelia got on the bus near the library.
  • As soon as the kids got on the bus, they fell asleep.
  • Lot of people shoved to get on the bus in the downtown.
  • Henry got on the train at 5 PM..
  • Yesterday the passengers could not get on the train because it was on fire.
  • Her parents preffered to get on the plane and leave.
  • I will get on the bus if it is raining.
  • Helena quakes with fear every timeshe gets on a plane.
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