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Is it wrong to use "The Albatross is now on the sky"?

Is it like we should always say "The Albatross is now in the sky"?

I would like to get an explanation for this. Thanks.

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closed as off-topic by tchrist, Matt Эллен, TrevorD, p.s.w.g, FumbleFingers Aug 6 '13 at 14:00

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Please also visit ell.stackexchange.com –  mplungjan May 6 '13 at 12:12
    
An albatross is in the air. The sun and moon are in the sky. –  Mitch May 6 '13 at 19:50
    
Let's see. Capital letter in Albatross? Maybe the Albatross is the name of a helicopter, and the landing pad on the roof of the skyscraper is called "the sky". Then I can say *The Albatross is on the sky." But it is far-fetched. –  GEdgar May 6 '13 at 21:37
    
@GEdgar I was going to try and work that angle into my answer, but decided not to, I had imagined that "the Albatross" was the internal code name of a television documentary project and "the sky" was the internal code name of a particular subject, and that the statement was being used by some kind of executive or other decision maker to communicate that the subject of the planned television program had changed –  xxx May 7 '13 at 13:05
    
@GEdgar I can also imagine a statement such as "the albatross is now on the sky" would fit quite nicely into an episode of Allo Allo as said by the character Michelle Dubois who was known for saying "Listen very carefully; I shall say this only once." followed by statements that would typically resemble the structure of "The Albatross is now on the sky" –  xxx May 7 '13 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

up vote 0 down vote accepted

The following statement is not correct

The Albatross is now on the sky

It is not possible to put an albatross onto the sky, because of what the sky is, it is not possible to put anything on the sky

It should be

The Albatross is now in the sky

But, using on in the following statement would be fine

The Albatross is now on the water

Because it is possible to put things onto water, you can also put things into water.

Perhaps these definitions of on, in and sky will help

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I know you already have an answer that explains the difference between the prepositions on and in, but looking at the entirety of the thought (a large bird going from land to air), both of your options seem awkward. Some more natural sounding alternatives are:

  • The Albatross has now taken flight.
  • The Albatross is now airborne.
  • The Albatross is now aloft.
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