Which of the following 4 possibilities is used when?

  1. in line

  2. in the line

  3. on line

  4. on the line

E.g. how do I correctly say

There is a typo in line 6 of this paragraph.

And I have the same question with "page" instead of "line".

  1. in page

  2. in the page

  3. on page

  4. on the page

  • I can't find an immediately objective answer to this (although I could answer that using the article is nonstandard if you specify a number), so I'm going to leave my opinion as a comment. I find it most natural to say a typo in line X and to say a typo on page Y. I will look forward to reading any actual answer provided that's backed by something objective. – Jason Bassford Jul 4 '18 at 17:18
  • That is my feeling too what you find most natural, but I'm not a native speaker. – user2925716 Jul 4 '18 at 17:26
  • @JasonBassford I think that the logic (if there is any) behind this convention is that there can be many things on a page which are not lines: examples include pictures, diagrams and tables. On the other hand a line on a page can consist only of text, even if the text includes numbers or formulae so the words, numbers and formulae are very much 'in' the line. Anything other than text, even if it is an illustration of the text, is not part of the line so is 'on' the page as are the lines. We do say things like "the diagram on page 18 illustrates the formula in the fourth line on page 17" – BoldBen Jul 4 '18 at 17:41

"on page …"; "in line …"

Something is printed/appears on a page. Something is part of a line, so in line …

"On line …" also works, especially in the context "error on line …".


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