• There are two parts on this spreadsheet
  • There are two parts in this spreadsheet

Which is grammatical? And what is the preferred usage? By parts I mean some data or information(pictures, production's name, etc.).

  • 4
    I would think "to" or "of" would be preferred. – David Schwartz Jul 23 '12 at 6:34
  • I think OP is looking for something more along the lines of "There are two items in this spreadsheet," or perhaps, "This spreadsheet contains two elements." – Cameron Jul 23 '12 at 7:16
  • Related: english.stackexchange.com/questions/74369/… – user19148 Jul 23 '12 at 7:26
  • FYI, if the spreadsheet has two tabs, you could say this is a two-part spreadsheet. As others have stated, elements, items, constituents, &c are more appropriate for what you describe. – cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Jul 23 '12 at 14:51

The two statements do not imply the same.

There are two parts on this spreadsheet.

This refers to parts of what is on the spreadsheet, say a certain table of figures.

There are two parts in this spreadsheet.

This refers to parts of the spreadsheet itself, perhaps sets of columns, sets of rows, or such.

  • 1
    I don't see this. "There are two tables on this spreadsheet," and "There are two tables in this spreadsheet," mean exactly the same thing to me, and "there are two parts on/in this spreadsheet" is wrong, if you're referring to parts of the spreadsheet. – Peter Shor Jul 23 '12 at 13:49
  • @PeterShor & One seconder "I don't see this. ... is wrong, ...": Do you mean grammatically or from your perception? – Kris Jul 24 '12 at 13:17
  • If you say "there are two parts on this table", or "there are two parts in this house", I would expect these to be parts of something else, not of the table or the house. The same holds for spreadsheets. So to me "there are two parts in this spreadsheet" does not mean "this spreadsheet has two parts". Can you think of anything where "there are two parts in this X" means "this X has two parts"? – Peter Shor Jul 24 '12 at 15:30
  • @PeterShor Close. That is pretty close to my answer, thank you. – Kris Jul 25 '12 at 11:10

There are several ways of describing a spreadsheet that consists of two parts, but neither of the two you provide would the normal way be of doing so. What people might say include:

This spreadsheet has two parts.

This spreadsheet is divided into two.

There are two parts to this spreadsheet.

This spreadsheet consists of two parts.

I have divided this spreadsheet in two.

There are two parts to this spreadsheet.

  • 1
    Sorry, I mean parts are some data or information(Pictures or Production's name etc). – seturyo Jul 23 '12 at 6:45
  • IMO, "to" is the right usage, because what you are trying to indicate is that the entire spreadsheet for consideration contains two separate parts, and you want to highlight this. One complete data set consisting of two separate parts. – Schroedingers Cat Jul 23 '12 at 8:16
  • I like all six of these over the O.P.'s two candidates, but wanted to voice my strong preference for #1: "This spreadsheet has two parts." – J.R. Jul 23 '12 at 9:17

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