Sunday, March 17, 2013

On my way vs In my way

Pedestrians ON THEIR WAY to work on a rainy weekday
morning in Midtown Manhattan hoping nothing gets IN
THEIR WAY as they rush to their destinations.

These two expressions, ON ONE'S WAY and IN ONE'S WAY, differ by just one preposition, but they are very different in meaning.

When we say I'm ON MY WAY, we mean we are en route or moving toward our destination.

1. I'll be there soon. I'm ON MY WAY.
2. Tim said he'd be a bit late, but he's ON HIS WAY.
3. The cops are ON THEIR WAY. They should be able to help us.
4. The package is ON ITS WAY to Boston.
5. We're ON OUR WAY; don't start eating without us!

On the other hand, when we say that a person or thing is IN OUR WAY, we mean that that person or thing is blocking our path and is usually preventing us from moving forward.

1. Could you move to the side? You're IN OUR WAY.
2. They left because you're busy. They didn't want to be IN YOUR WAY.
3. These boxes are IN MY WAY. Do you mind if I move them?
4. The cyclist almost hit a dog that was IN HIS WAY.
5. The angry manager simply kicked a box that was IN HER WAY.

It's also possible to use the article THE instead of possessive pronouns. This works with both expressions.

1. She's ON THE WAY to the concert. She should be back in a few hours.
2. If I get IN THE WAY, let me know, and I'll move.

Alright, folks. Try to use these expressions soon, so you won't forget them. Good luck! If you have any questions, you can ask them here, on our Facebook page, or @joeyu2nd on Twitter. Until next time, take care!

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