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Which is the correct form?

I'd like to try CoolStuff 2.0 on a project


I'd like to try CoolStuff 2.0 in a project

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

I think that it's a difference of emphasis - albeit subtle. When you use something on a project, the thing that you're using isn't really part of the project. It's used to help effect the project. On the other hand, if you use something in a project, it's integral to the project - part of the project itself. For example, a tool would be used on a project whereas a building material would be used in a project.

So, I think that it's a matter of what you're trying to indicate exactly. It's a subtle difference though.

And to try in this case would effectively be the same as to use as far as usage goes. So, if CoolStuff 2.0 is a tool, then you'd say "I'd like to try CoolStuff 2.0 on a project." Whereas if CoolStuff 2.0 is something that actually makes up the project, then you'd say "I'd like to try CoolStuff 2.0 in a project."

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I would say that it depends on the nature of "CoolStuff 2.0". If CoolStuff is a package that you will be using to manage your project, or to assist in the creation and development of your project (for example, if your project is writing software and CoolStuff is an editor), then "on" is preferred.

But if CoolStuff is something (or does something) that you will be incorporating as part of your output (for example, if your project is writing software and CoolStuff is a library of software utility routines), then "in" is preferred.

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Good answer. I accepted Jonathan's because it was slightly more thorough, but I upvoted both. – Diego Mijelshon Nov 29 '10 at 23:41

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