Branching off from the comments to this question: Do I say えいがにみました or えいがをみました ？:
The comment says
映画に見た is valid for "I saw it in a movie". I went to search for example sentences and found both
excluding adverbial types like ～的に見た, ～ように見た.
I found an instance of co-existence of に and で:
I also found that a large amount of で見る results from < medium >で見る：
The purpose of this question is to reconcile the simultaneous existence of Xに見る and Xで見る for the same X
My thoughts so far:
I think both に and で are possible for some cases. YをXに見る places the person in the "physical" position X in order to see Y. YをXで見る is what I'm familiar with, and it says X is a medium for which the person sees Y.
I think for テレビ, only で is available, because you cannot be physically placed in テレビ.
While for 夢, both に and で are available; you can see it because you are in the 夢 and also because 夢 is a medium
If I were to force a translation of 映画に見る vs. 映画で見る, the former would be "I saw it at the movies", the latter would be "I saw it in a movie". I.e. I think に is locative and で is instrumental.
From the corpus search using BCCWJ:
- There are 5 results from using 映画に見 as a search term
- There are 36 results from using 映画で見 as a search term
It seems both に and で can be used, with で being more common.
What does the use of に do to the sentence?
What circumstances would cause に to be preferred?