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IN/ON the system

English translation: on the system

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10:57 Feb 5, 2009
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Other
English term or phrase: IN/ON the system
When talking about computer system, computer database, should "in" or "on" the system be said?
"in" or "on" the database.

Example: I need to update some figures IN/ON the system.

Should the word "system" really be used?
kseraph
English translation:on the system
Explanation:
My gut feeling is that when you are referring to a 'system' that involves actual hardware, one should say 'on' — just as one would say 'on my printer / hard drive' or 'on the network'.

The use of the word 'system' is pretty widespread, even though it is really a bit of a colloquialism, I suppose.

However, where the 'system' is something much more abstract, like 'the Social Security system', then I would use 'in' — for example "I don't quite know what progress has been made with your application, but it's in the system somewhere"

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Note added at 5 mins (2009-02-05 11:02:51 GMT)
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Of course, it ought to be 'in' for the database, just as it would be 'in' a filing cabinet (though 'on' is very often found even here)
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 18:43
Grading comment
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +1on the system
Tony M
3 +1in
Jack Doughty
Summary of reference entries provided
Different things
Rafael Bordabehere

  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
in/on the system
in


Explanation:
I think "in" is preferable to "on" in both cases. Whether you need to use "system" or not depends on the context.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:43
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 268

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Kathryn Litherland: yes. the figures are "in the database" and the database may be "in the system" (part of a larger). A user may be "on the system" (logged on), but the construction would be different "I need to get on the system and update some figures"
3 hrs
  -> Thank you. Yes, I agree with that.
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
in/on the system
on the system


Explanation:
My gut feeling is that when you are referring to a 'system' that involves actual hardware, one should say 'on' — just as one would say 'on my printer / hard drive' or 'on the network'.

The use of the word 'system' is pretty widespread, even though it is really a bit of a colloquialism, I suppose.

However, where the 'system' is something much more abstract, like 'the Social Security system', then I would use 'in' — for example "I don't quite know what progress has been made with your application, but it's in the system somewhere"

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 5 mins (2009-02-05 11:02:51 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Of course, it ought to be 'in' for the database, just as it would be 'in' a filing cabinet (though 'on' is very often found even here)

Tony M
France
Local time: 18:43
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 148

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  kmtext
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, KMT!
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Reference comments


9 mins
Reference: Different things

Reference information:
I guess your are talking about two different things: system and database. System is somewhat general, database is specific. If you are talking about databases, I think the correct preposition is "in". If you are talking about system, you should be more specific.

Rafael Bordabehere
Uruguay
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish
PRO pts in category: 4
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