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Grammarly sometimes says "in society" is correct, but sometimes it says "on society" is correct.

"In my opinion, using animals for scientific and commercial experiments has more positive impacts than negatives in society." It is correct as per Grammarly.

But it asks to change to "on society" in "The other things have positive impacts in society." this phrase.

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How can I identify which one to use while writing an essay?

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    We can't tell you because you haven't told us which you intend. Both are grammatical and meaningful, but they can mean different things. Using a simpler example: you can sit [on|in|beside|under|...] a ball. Which preposition you pick depends on what you are trying to say. Please edit your question to tell us what you intend by your quote.
    – Lawrence
    Jun 7 at 9:21
  • I think it would be better to shift your focus of analysis to "impact" + "on". See e.g. the following dictionary entry for impact + on: britannica.com/dictionary/impact
    – Brandin
    Jun 9 at 11:13
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    My suspicion in your example is that the software tagged your second example because the word tokens "impact" and "in" are very close together, whereas in the first example, the software failed to notice the pattern "impact" ... "in", since the words are separated by several other tokens.
    – Brandin
    Jun 9 at 11:18

2 Answers 2

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On would mean that an outside force would have an impact on the entire society.

In would mean that a force inside society would have some impact within the boundaries of said society, and not necessarily on all of the society.

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As a native British English speaker, I believe "on society" feels better than "in society".

"Society" is the thing being directly affected here, by a commercial / scientific practice which at this level is independent of "society".

"Society" may be considered as the structure which is the aggregate of the net effect of interactions between the people in it.

On the one hand, animal experiments may result in the development of medicines or the improvement of safety of products used, which benefit "society" because people are healthier and happier, and society is "improved" as a result.

On the other hand, a casual disregard for the rights of animals and their welfare can lead to a more casual disregard for the rights of humans, and even lead to an erosion of personal freedoms and comfort at the expense of those who don't see anything wrong with exploiting others for their ends.

The effect is "on" rather than "in" here.

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