by car, in the/my car
in car, on the/my car
What Paris has done right is to make it awful to get around by car and awfully easy to get around by public transportation or by bike.
Quello che Parigi ha fatto giusto è rendere terribile lo spostarsi in auto e terribilmente facile spostarsi coi mezzi pubblici o in bici.
– Serge Schmemann
✓ Are we going by car?
✗ Are we going *in* car?
Andiamo in macchina?
✓ Are we going in your car?
✗ Are we going*with* your car?
Andiamo con la tua macchina?
✓ I went to the seaside in my car yesterday.
✗ I went to the seaside*with* my car yesterday.
Sono andato al mare con la mia macchina ieri.
✓ I spend a lot of time in my/the car.
✗ I spend a lot of time *in car*.
Passo tanto tempo in macchina.
In English we say by car in a general sense after verbs such as go, come, travel, etc. (like other forms of transport: by bus, by train, by plane, by taxi, etc.). For example:
✓ They went to Paris by car.
Sono andati a Parigi in macchina.
✓ We prefer not to travel by car if possible.
Preferiamo non viaggiare in macchina se possibile.
✓ Are you coming by car?
Vieni in macchina?
If we specify which or whose car, we use in (not *on* or *with*!). For example:
✓ I went to work in my mum’s car yesterday because mine was at the mechanic’s.
✗ I went to work *with* my mum’s car yesterday because mine was at the mechanic.
Sono andato al lavoro con la macchina di mia mamma ieri perché la mia era dal meccanico.
✓ Can we go in your car?
✗ Can we go *with* your car?
Possiamo andare con la tua macchina?
Now try the quiz below! There are TEN answers. The pass mark is 90% (9 out of 10). Click on the blue arrows to go to the next or previous question. You can check your answers immediately or when you’ve finished the quiz.