車の中に 'in the car'

So I was going through some sentences and noticed that ‘my brother is in America’ does not use the naka ni part of the sentence in the topic title. When does one use naka ni and when not when indicating that someone is ‘in’ something?

Thanks very much.

In “in the car”, what the 中 really means is “inside”. So it is specifically referring to the interior of the car.

If you’re saying someone is “in America”, this doesn’t mean that they are “inside America” as that doesn’t really make much sense. Really, saying someone is “in America” is just the same as saying they are “at America”. Both are ways of translating the particle に.

It’s mainly just an issue with how we express it in English. The ‘in’ from “in the car” and the ‘in’ from “in America” aren’t equivalent.

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Thanks a lot

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