Why is 'dans le train' correct but 'dans le RER' is not (it is 'sur le RER')?

Kathryn C1Kwiziq community member

Why is 'dans le train' correct but 'dans le RER' is not (it is 'sur le RER')?

Asked 6 months ago
CélineKwiziq team memberCorrect answer

Bonjour Kathryn,

When talking about a means of transport, i.e. le métro / le bus / le train, you will use 'dans'. If you are talking about the 'train lines / subway lines' etc (= les lignes), which is the case here, then you will use 'sur' because you cannot physically go inside the trainlines/ subway lines as in a carriage. That'll be a bit "mad" ;-)

Je suis sur les lignes du RER = I am on the Tube [US: Subway] lines 

I hope this is helpful.

Bonne journée !

MaartenC1 Kwiziq Q&A super contributor

The “RER” (Réseau Express Régional) is the full railway and transit system, not specifically the vehicle of transport.  You are  ‘in the train’ - dans le train, but not ‘in the system’. Ultimately though, as with all things grammar and prepositions, the reason is ‘because that’s the way it is’.

Why is 'dans le train' correct but 'dans le RER' is not (it is 'sur le RER')?

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