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Autor:  PPAULO
E-mail:  não-disponível
Data:  05/SET/2010 11:54 PM
Assunto:  on/in my contact list

 Let´s split the question in parts:

Which preposition should  use when referring to 'list'?

     A)   on


Is you name on/in the list?

    A.1) I would say on the list if I were thinking about a "material" list, a list that is a paper

(so not an abstract concept, but a sheet/leaf  with names in it.)    


     A.2) In the list if I were thinking in a list, no paper/leaf involved (even though I know that there is one, but I am talking about the abstract concept).



I have 100 names on/in my contact list.

    A)    Generally, we talk about buddy lists, and things Web-related, computer-related; so it would be "on my contact list". It is used 99% percent of times, but I would not say that you can´t say "in my contact list".    

    The reasoning behind this? the same one you presented here, if you think in a list being comprisded of "arranged to form a particular shape or group" (Longman Dict. entry: IN),  hence "each name is part of it" (like you rightly  pointed out)

    However, "on" is the usual (only grammatically speaking, out of habit perhaps...I mean we think it like in expressions like "the answer in on the page etc")



'on' sounds more natural to me, but I wonder why not 'in'..since the name or information or whatever a list is made of, is obviously part of it...'in' it....Am I wrong?

    A)  Again, the reasoning is like the above one, thinking the information as a part of the list, you can say it is "in" like the following examples.  Generally I would say that you know what the list is made of, that is, in a) contacts,  b) football players etc.  In other words it´s specified beforehand what the list is made of.

   But wouldn´t be wrong if you used ON.



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  Hope it helps.

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 English Made in Brazil -- English, Portuguese, & contrastive linguistics
on/in my contact list  –  student  05/SET/2010, 10:14 PM
 on/in my contact list  –  PPAULO  05/SET/2010, 11:54 PM

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