Gustavo, Contributor posted:

If you want to refer to a specific helicopter, then you have to say "on a helicopter."

Hello, Gustavo, and nice to see you here,

I think we can use "in" as well when we want to refer to a specific helicopter, can't we? 

 

The question is:

What's the rule that controls using either of the prepositions "in" and "on" with some transportations (specific ones, i.e. those are preceded by in/definite articles)? 

I've read a comment recently (by a native) said that "In most cases, we use "on" when we can move inside the means of transport, and "in" when we can not." Was he right? 

Gratefully, and sorry for the interruption. 

Hussein Hassan posted:

What's the rule that controls using either of the prepositions "in" and "on" with some transportations (specific ones, i.e. preceded by in/definite articles)? 

I've read a comment recently (by a native) says that "In most cases, we use "on" when we can move inside the means of transportation, and "in" when we can not." Was he right? 

Hi, Hussein,

We generally reserve "in" for cars. I think we can say both "in/on a helicopter."

I agree with that comment you mention that, whenever there is an aisle (planes, buses, trains) or a deck (ships) on which you can walk, we use "on."

Hi,

Of course 'by helicopter' is grammatically correct. I'd like just to refer to a specific point. 'On a helicopter' is grammatically correct, but it is less common than 'in a helicopter'. 'In a helicopter' beats 'on a helicopter' on Coca. Also, see:

https://www.englishclub.com/gr...s-place-at-in-on.htm

I think 'in a helicopter' is more common because it is a closed small vehicle and sometimes 'on a helicopter' might sound funny as it could mean 'on the roof of the helicopter'.

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