"The cat sits in the chair."
Translation:고양이가 의자에 앉아요.
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I think of sitting in a chair as sitting on the chair and at a desk or something, whereas sitting on a chair implies a more temporary arrangement where you're perhaps sitting on the edge (as in a photo shoot) or just not using it in conjunction with other furniture.
For other furniture:
- sitting "in" a couch may be a bit joking, as in the couch is very deep and "swallowed" you
- being "in" bed implies you have covers/sheets on, whereas "on" means you're on top of the covers/sheets
- recliner is almost always "in"
So I guess "in" is a more permanent arrangement, whereas "on" is more temporary, or at least that's how I hear it used.
I hadn't thought closely about this before! Thanks for the little breakdown!
Prepositions are funny sometimes, and I'm sure it's a headache to learn them in English. When a student is AT school it means they are at the physical school building, but IN school can more broadly mean they are enrolled. It can also mean "currenly in class" though, as if a friend called you while at band practice you wouldn't say "I'm in school right now", you would use "I'm AT THE school". Little deviation from the furniture discussion, but still interesting.
You always find new things you hadn't thought of in your own language when you study another language.