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When do you say "A fly on the picture", "A fly in the picture" or "A fly at the picture"?

  • "A fly on the picture" is clear: A fly landed on a picture and most likely you will chase it away.

  • "A fly in the picture" is also clear: A wildlife photograph took a picture from a fly and presents it.

  • But what does it mean when you say "A fly at the picture"? Or is it just wrong English?

In German you only say "Eine Fliege auf dem Bild", which could mean both. Without further context you don't know what is meant.

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    As a whole sentence or part of one? – user353675 Nov 3 '19 at 11:28
  • Goof question, maybe both? – Wernfried Domscheit Nov 3 '19 at 11:45
  • At the picture isn't idiomatic English. Plus, you could probably say die gemalte Fliege im Bild to distinguish them in German. – KarlG Nov 3 '19 at 12:14
  • They were in a movie theatre, and the fly kept bothering them. – Hot Licks Nov 3 '19 at 12:27
  • 1
    A fly crawled along the wall and arrived at the picture. A fly at the picture was the first to walk over its surface. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 3 '19 at 13:46

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