Participate IN or ON? Which is the correct preposition?

We use the preposition “in” with the verb “to participate”. We don’t usually use “participate on” in English. 

Participate In

We use the preposition “in” when we want to show that something exists in a volume. That could be “in a park”, “in a field” or “in a bottle” or it could be something within some metaphorical boundary like “in a debate”.  Let’s look at some examples of participate with the preposition “in”:

Examples:

It was great, everybody participated in the debate.

You need to participate more in class.

Thank you for participating in our raffle.

Participate On

We don’t usually use “on” with “participate”. There might be certain instances where you can use “participate on” when we need to use “on” with the noun that follows “participate”. 

There is a new way to participate on a website.

Notice that the meaning above does not convey what you are “participating in” but rather how you participate. 

Participate At

“At” is the same as “on”, it is not usually used with “participate”.You can use “at” when we need to use “at” with the noun that follows “participate”.

He is participating at the fair. 

Again, the meaning above does not convey what you are “participating in” but rather where you participate. You should really include what the person is “participating in”.

He is participating in the pizza contest at the fair. 

Participating In or On

We use “in” with “participating” as “participating”is just the gerund form of the verb”to participate”

I am participating in a course in Economics.

He is participating in market research for a new flavoured water. 

Participation In or On

“Participation” is the noun form of “participate” and prepositions work in the same way. We usually use the preposition “in” except when we need to use “on” with the noun that follows “participation”.

Examples:

There is a lot of participation in this debate.

We need your participation on this issue