In/on the streets

This is the place to post questions and discussions on usage and style. The members of the Wordwizard Clubhouse will also often be able to help you to formulate that difficult letter.
Post Reply

In/on the streets

Post by STEVENSAKURA » Tue Oct 27, 2009 7:26 am

A: What are you doing?
B: Hey! I'm out in / on the streets right now, so I'll call you back as soon as I get home, ok?

- Is B's sentence natural enough? :)

Thanks a lot!


Re: In/on the streets

Post by hsargent » Tue Oct 27, 2009 2:57 pm

Natural would be:

"I'm driving home, I'll call you when I arrive."

On the streets is sort of obvious because there isn't an alternative.

In the streets sounds sub-terrestrial.
Signature: Harry Sargent

Re: In/on the streets

Post by trolley » Tue Oct 27, 2009 3:59 pm

In the street (singular) would be in the middle of the road.
"The children were playing in the street when I arrived home"
In the streets is something that is happening on a larger level, perhaps city wide.
"The people were dancing or rioting in the streets"
On the street(s) is often used to mean homeless.
"He has been on the street(s) ever since the factory closed"
I might be a little unsure of what B was saying. I might also wonder why B always exclaims "hey" when I ak him something.

Re: In/on the streets

Post by russcable » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:04 pm

No. - (out) in/on the street(s) - in various combinations can form a lot of idioms with a wide variety of meanings. For example:
"I'm in the street" could mean: I'm (probably stationary) in the road in front of my house (or outside of wherever you might assume I am)
"I'm on the street" could mean: I'm on the same street (as my destination, as the street you're thinking of) but not at the place
"I'm on the streets" could mean: I'm homeless.

It seems you want something more like:
I'm not home right now
I'm out and about

Re: In/on the streets

Post by Shelley » Tue Oct 27, 2009 4:06 pm

Steven, for B (for Boss or Bruce, I assume), the answer can only be:

When I'm out on the streets, whoa oh oh oh oh
I walk the way I wanna walk . . .

Out in the street (street singular) would mean one is actually standing in the middle of a street:

A: Hey! Why are you lying down out in the street?! Do you want to get run over?!
B: Hey! It's the only way I can get a taxi to stop for me! And even then, I'm not so sure . . .

So, Steven -- what do the people in your examples mean when they preface everything they say with "Hey!"?

Re: In/on the streets

Post by STEVENSAKURA » Wed Oct 28, 2009 3:53 am

Dear friends!

- I often hear "Hey!" in American movies, and it's used to emphasize, so is it very common in daily conversations? :)

Thanks very much!


Re: In/on the streets

Post by Bobinwales » Wed Oct 28, 2009 10:39 am

"on the streets" can also mean working as a prostitute, perhaps that was what B meant when s/he replied.

I have suggested, very politely, in the past that you need to drop the "hey".
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: In/on the streets

Post by Tony Farg » Thu Oct 29, 2009 10:10 pm

Indeed, hey is for horses, and is inappropriate almost everywhere in British English.

Post Reply