I heard the following lines in a song:

that I could be the only thought in her mind
as she was in mine.

I was wondering if it shouldn't be on instead, in both cases. Is the in variant grammatical and idiomatic? Is this poetic license or perhaps some local dialect?

  • So, "I" is a thought? Funny. The only thought on my mind was why lunch had not been served. A thought is not usually a single person pronoun. /...that I could be the only person on her mind, as she was on mine/. – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 13:54
  • It was written in a song and I was wondering whether it was correct or not as it sounds weird to me. thank you. – James Nov 16 '16 at 14:02
  • If it's in a song, what does the song SAY: in or on? Why are you asking the question rather than quoting the song? – Lambie Nov 16 '16 at 14:12
  • because the song says "in her mind as she was in mine" so I thought the right structure was" on(one's)mind " – James Nov 16 '16 at 14:14
  • In the future please include all that information right from the get-go. It can be frustrating for people to have to work to extract it from you bit by bit. Thank you. – RegDwigнt Nov 16 '16 at 14:19

Songs follow poetic licence as much as any rule and "On" and "in" my mind are almost interchangeable, but "On" sometimes implies a worry or a persistent thought, where "in" merely describes a thought, which might well be fleeting…


to be on one's mind = thinking about someone/something
to be in one's mind = to be in her/his thoughts

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.