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In/on a farm?
Thread poster: John Cutler

John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
May 4, 2012

Hi, I'm not sure if this is the right forum for this question, but here goes...

I've been correcting a series of documents recently that have to do with field trials conducted on farms. None of the authors are native English speakers, but I've noticed they all use the term "in a farm".

For example:

"The trial was conducted in a farm of 500 cows", or "The vaccine was used in a nearby farm."

I'm looking for native British English speakers to tell me whether this is correct or not. My opinion is that both examples should use "on a farm".

I'm American and I would say "on a farm", but I know the British and Americans use prepositions differently at times and I was wondering whether that is the case here, or whether these are Googlesque translations that people have used because they don't know any better.

Any comments would be appreciated.


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matt robinson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:02
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
On May 4, 2012

I would certainly use on. I'm British.

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Nicola Wood  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 20:02
Member (2010)
German to English
on May 4, 2012

I am also British and would definitely use on. In a farm just does not sound natural, after all we all grew up with Old McDonald and the animals on his farm


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Nikki Graham  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:02
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
on or at May 4, 2012

In doesn't sound right at all, and I might even be inclined to say "at a farm" in some cases.

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Derrio  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
Definitely "on" May 4, 2012

I'm British and my cousin has a farm in the Lake District and he's always "on" it and never "in" it.

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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Beginning to see the light May 4, 2012

Ok, I'm beginning to see the light at this point, I'm thinking that these folks have translated their documents with Google and it tends to give "in" as its first option.

It's one of those cases in which the same error has appeared so many times and in so many documents that I was beginning to wonder whether it was some type of new usage I wasn't aware of or, as I mentioned, a difference between American and British usage.



[Edited at 2012-05-04 09:36 GMT]


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Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:02
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm? May 4, 2012

I'm sure "In the farm" is never or rarely used in the USA too. This post-First World War song is American.
"How Ya Gonna Keep 'Em Down on the Farm?"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgqVCJpRqWQ14 Oct 2008 - 3 min - Uploaded by RReady555
America was as quick in getting out of Europe following World War One as she was tardy in entering that ...


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Allison Wright  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 19:02
German to English
+ ...
On the farm May 4, 2012

That's what everyone on the farm said, in the great British tradition.

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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:02
English to German
+ ...
Forget about this BE/AE or non-native speaker crap May 4, 2012

I am tired of it and it makes me puke, honestly.

It's that easy:

Technically, a farm is an area of land devoted to grow food or animals. An area that is measured by acres, hectare or whatnot.

Example: "ON my farm, we have occasionally spotted translators who seem to be feeding on grass and worms, hop around during mating season and enjoy the pastures"

But:
A farm is also considered a business.

"IN our farm, we are breeding translators that can live on worms and cardboard solely, so they can deal with any word rate below one cent while dodging starvation".


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David Hayes  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:02
Member (2009)
French to English
Old McDonald May 4, 2012

Since the arrival of my baby daughter, I have been rediscovering nursery rhymes. Her current favourite is "Old Mcdonald" :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_mol6B9z00

All his animals are definately found ON a farm.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:02
English to German
+ ...
Ha! May 4, 2012

David Hayes wrote:

Since the arrival of my baby daughter, I have been rediscovering nursery rhymes. Her current favourite is "Old Mcdonald" :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_mol6B9z00

All his animals are definately found ON a farm.


All his animals lived ON a farm (of something-something acres, lots of grass and such), but his moo-moos and snort-snorts were most likely the results of artificial insemination IN a farm.


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:02
Hebrew to English
On May 4, 2012

I actually live on a farm.

I would never say "in".

On our farm, we breed sheep, chickens and goats. (That's not an example sentence, it's true).


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Ty Kendall  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 19:02
Hebrew to English
@Nicole May 4, 2012

I'm sorry, I would NEVER say "in a farm". The only time I've seen it is when "farm" is being used as an adjective:

"in a farm environment"
"in a farm house"
"in a farm location"
"in a farm like setting"
"in a farm cottage"

but "ON A FARM" for everything else.

We don't currently have cows (I don't like them), but when we do (the significant other is determined to have them) I know I'd say "we perform artificial insemination on our farm". It just doesn't sound natural at all to say "in our farm".
(They might be inseminated in a barn, on a farm though).

[Edited at 2012-05-04 11:29 GMT]


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John Cutler  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 20:02
Spanish to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Trusted back up May 4, 2012

Wow, thanks everyone. The situation here is that I'm the only native English speaker dealing with a company with hundreds of non-native English speakers who think they know more than I do; so, as I mentioned, I was beginning to think that I was the one who was mistaken.

They also have, of course, the awesome and almighty Google translate to back them up and since we all know that Google's never wrong, I was beginning to doubt my university graduate, 50-year experience of speaking English.

It’s sort of a matter of being out numbered where I am, so I needed a bit of trusted back up.


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Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:02
English to German
+ ...
Indoors or outdoors? May 4, 2012

Ty Kendall wrote:

I'm sorry, I would NEVER say "in a farm". The only time I've seen it is when "farm" is being used as an adjective:



We are a bit too idealistic, I think. Think about a chicken farm (shudder...): A huge building with lots of animals squeezed into it. They never see daylight. Trials are conducted / vaccines are used IN a farm.
Have you ever seen an industrial dairy farm? A huge building with lots of animals squeezed into it. They never see daylight. Trials are conducted / vaccines are used IN a farm.


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