I'm a non-English speaker and I have a little question.

Let's say I have some paintings and I want to give them a name, what is the most eloquent way of referring to them?

  1. "Night over/in/at/other London" - what is the best way to describe the night at some location?

  2. "Sunset/sunrise over/in/at/other London" - what is the best way to describe sunset/sunrise at some location?

  • Hi @arad! Questions for English Language Learners are well suited at ell.stackexchange.com. I'm not sure there's a hard and fast answer anywhere for this question, though; naming a work of art is very open to the artist's choice. I will mention that "in London" is more idiomatic than "at London," for cities. Aug 26, 2021 at 16:07
  • @andy bonner Thank you. just don't want to make any silly mistake with the name. lets say you paint them. how would you call them?
    – arad
    Aug 26, 2021 at 16:23
  • Sorry, Stack Exchange is about facts rather than personal opinions. None of the choices is silly, though "at London" would be a non-standard usage. Aug 26, 2021 at 16:27
  • @andy bonner I actually wanted to call it "Sunset over London", "Night over London" and "Night in London"
    – arad
    Aug 26, 2021 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


"At London" would be a non-standard usage because cities are areas rather than points (you might say "at Big Ben," which is a single location). "Over" works with "sunset" and "sunrise" because these phenomena are in the sky; it also works poetically with "night" in a way that emphasizes the night sky. "In" is also appropriate for all examples (c.f. "A Night in Tunisia").

  • 1
    Or 'London by night'. Aug 26, 2021 at 16:40
  • The "over" construction can also be used with poetic license with things that are in no sense "over," like "Midnight over London," or even "Quiet over London." The gesture suggests that that thing is covering or enveloping the city. As noted, there's a lot of latitude in naming an art object. Aug 26, 2021 at 16:46
  • Thank you very much for your explanation. so what is the difference between sunrise over London to sunrise in London?
    – arad
    Aug 26, 2021 at 16:50
  • I would add "Night in London" suggests more a picture of people in the streets of London at night. "Night/Sunset over London" certainly suggests an emphasis on the sky. "Sunset in London" is rather vague - London is big. "Sunset from London Bridge" would work to give the location of the painting
    – Greybeard
    Aug 26, 2021 at 16:54
  • @arad "Sunrise over London" emphasizes relative place and position, like "bird over picnic." "Sunrise in London" uses "sunrise" as a time, like "Afternoon in London." Aug 26, 2021 at 16:56

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