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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
"In the sun" or "under the sun"?
Thursday May 10th 2012
Question
"In the sun" or "under the sun"?
Answer

Question

A reader from India asked: Which is correct, "We went out in the sun" or "We went out under the sun"?

Answer

In most contexts, when you are referring to being outdoors in the sunshine, it's better to use "in the sun," as in these examples:

  • The kids were in the sun all day, and they got sunburned.
  • If you sit in the sun, you'll be warmer.
  • I put the plants in the sun to help them grow.

You will hear people say "under the sun," but it is almost always being used as an idiomatic expression that emphasizes that there is a large number of something, as many as you can imagine. Here are some examples:

  • We talked about everything under the sun.
  • She called me every name under the sun.
  • There is nothing under the sun [=nothing at all] that we cannot do.

I hope this helps.

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