English Prepositions: IN THE WAY and ON THE WAY

Difference between IN THE WAY and ON THE WAY

If something is in the way it means it is blocking you and being an inconvenience:

  • I can’t see the TV screen, my dog is in the way.
    (The dog is standing between you and the TV, and blocking your view)

  • There’s not enough room for me to work at this table. Please move your books somewhere else; they’re in the way.
    (The books are inconveniently occupying space on the table)

If a person is blocking you, then “Get out of the way!” or “Get out of my way!” is a slightly rude way to tell them to move.

The expression on the way refers to something being conveniently located in your path while you are traveling to a final destination:

  • Let’s stop at the supermarket on the way to work.


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