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  1. #1
    Fillet's Avatar
    Fillet is offline Newbie
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    Open the book to or on?

    I often hear teachers say "Open the book to page xx." Some of them say "Open the book on page xx." Which is more appropriate? To or on?

    Thanks for answering my question. A good explanation on that one is highly appreciated.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet View Post
    I often hear teachers say "Open the book to page xx." Some of them say "Open the book on page xx." Which is more appropriate? To or on?

    Thanks for answering my question. A good explanation on that one is highly appreciated.
    Neither, "open the book at page..." is correct.

  3. #3
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet View Post
    I often hear teachers say "Open the book to page xx." Some of them say "Open the book on page xx." Which is more appropriate? To or on?

    Thanks for answering my question. A good explanation on that one is highly appreciated.
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Fillet.

    (1) I am sure that you will receive many interesting answers.

    (2) May I give you my views:

    (a) I think that almost all Americans are more comfortable with:

    Please open your books to page 453. =

    Please open your books and keep turning the pages until you reach

    page 453.

    (b) I hear that many British people prefer at.

    (c) I believe that on is very difficult to do. It seems to say:

    When you open your books, you must be immediately on page

    453. I think that it would be very difficult for most people to

    do that. Most of us would estimate where page 453 is, and then

    we would open the book and keep turning until we found page 453.

    Of course, if your teachers use on, they do not expect you to be

    that skillful. Apparently, they have just decided to use on instead of

    to or at.

    There are now many varieties of English in the world.

    Thank you

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Fillet.

    (1) I am sure that you will receive many interesting answers.

    (2) May I give you my views:

    (a) I think that almost all Americans are more comfortable with:

    Please open your books to page 453. =

    Please open your books and keep turning the pages until you reach

    page 453.

    (b) I hear that many British people prefer at.

    (c) I believe that on is very difficult to do. It seems to say:

    When you open your books, you must be immediately on page

    453. I think that it would be very difficult for most people to

    do that. Most of us would estimate where page 453 is, and then

    we would open the book and keep turning until we found page 453.

    Of course, if your teachers use on, they do not expect you to be

    that skillful. Apparently, they have just decided to use on instead of

    to or at.

    There are now many varieties of English in the world.

    Thank you
    I really didn't know that Americans prefer "open the book to page X".

  5. #5
    Fillet's Avatar
    Fillet is offline Newbie
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Neither, "open the book at page..." is correct.
    Really? Is that commonly used by Brits? Because here in our country, we follow American English. As much as possible, we also have to pronounce words in American way.
    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Fillet.

    (1) I am sure that you will receive many interesting answers.

    (2) May I give you my views:

    (a) I think that almost all Americans are more comfortable with:

    Please open your books to page 453. =

    Please open your books and keep turning the pages until you reach

    page 453.

    (b) I hear that many British people prefer at.

    (c) I believe that on is very difficult to do. It seems to say:

    When you open your books, you must be immediately on page

    453. I think that it would be very difficult for most people to

    do that. Most of us would estimate where page 453 is, and then

    we would open the book and keep turning until we found page 453.

    Of course, if your teachers use on, they do not expect you to be

    that skillful. Apparently, they have just decided to use on instead of

    to or at.

    There are now many varieties of English in the world.

    Thank you
    So "to" is ok to use? As I said, we prefer to use American English here in our country. My teachers use different English, i.e., some use American and others British, so it's quite confusing. I just want to have an assurance that my teacher uses the correct English when she says "to" instead of "on". Or maybe I should tell her to use "at" instead? I never heard any of the teachers here use "at", though.

  6. #6
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet View Post
    Really? Is that commonly used by Brits? Because here in our country, we follow American English. As much as possible, we also have to pronounce words in American way.

    So "to" is ok to use? As I said, we prefer to use American English here in our country. My teachers use different English, i.e., some use American and others British, so it's quite confusing. I just want to have an assurance that my teacher uses the correct English when she says "to" instead of "on". Or maybe I should tell her to use "at" instead? I never heard any of the teachers here use "at", though.
    ********** NOT A TEACHER **********

    Hello, Fillet.

    (1) If you wish to follow American English, I do think that it would

    be helpful to use to.

    (2) As Teacher Bhaisahab said, at is used by our British friends.

    (3) This website has some wonderful American teachers. I am

    sure that they will soon answer you.

    Thank you

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fillet View Post
    Really? Is that commonly used by Brits? Because here in our country, we follow American English. As much as possible, we also have to pronounce words in American way.

    So "to" is ok to use? As I said, we prefer to use American English here in our country. My teachers use different English, i.e., some use American and others British, so it's quite confusing. I just want to have an assurance that my teacher uses the correct English when she says "to" instead of "on". Or maybe I should tell her* to use "at" instead? I never heard any of the teachers here use "at", though.
    * Obviously not! Like B, I'd say 'at', but the Am Eng preference seems to be for 'to'. In fact I think I've heard teachers in the UK say 'Open your books [by implication: at page <whatever>; has everyone turned] to that page?' Their intonation suggests that the first words are the beginning of a command, and the final words become a question. The syntax of spoken language is fluid like that.

    b

  8. #8
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    I have heard to in the UK as well, though at is more common.

    I just want to have an assurance that my teacher uses the correct English when she says "to"
    Rest assured.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Open the book to or on?


  10. #10
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: Open the book to or on?

    Native BrE speaker here, and I remember all my schoolteachers saying "Please open your books to page..."

    I realise this disagrees with the other BrE speakers who have posted so far, who all seem to favour "at", but that sounds unnatural to me! I also realise that logically "at" seems more sensible.

    "Please turn to page..." would be used very regularly.

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