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    #1

    I found the text material on the internet.

    I found the text material on the internet.
    Why is it 'on' the internet not 'in' the internet?

    Secondly, though it instinctively feels right to use 'the' before 'internet', please explain me the reason behind placing the definite article.

    Thank you.
    Last edited by MeyaN; 12-Sep-2016 at 17:35.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: I found the text material on the internet.

    I suppose that if there was more than one internet we wouldn't refer to it as "the" Internet.

  2. Roman55's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: I found the text material on the internet.

    We use the preposition 'on' with the Internet as we do with other media, such as radio and television.

    I heard it on the radio. I saw it on television. I found it on the Internet.

    In English we say the Internet, but some other languages don't use the definite article with 'Internet'. French, Italian and Dutch come to mind.
    I am not a teacher

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    #4

    Re: I found the text material on the internet.

    As my favorite TV professor said so many years ago, "But why is it so"?

    Well, may I speculate?

    When we transmit something, at least one method of doing so involves sending a base signal which gets modulated (for example, in amplitude - AM transmission - or in frequency - FM transmission). The data we want to send gets "encoded" into this modulation, and added to our signal. We have conceptualized this as the information riding on the base signal. In fact, the base signal is called the carrier wave. Our actual information is carried on this wave.

    Whatever technology is in use today, I suspect the conceptualizing persists - whether accurate or not.


    As for the Internet - and notice that many of us capitalize the word; it's a name for it, not a description in this sense - your question is probably better answered by the Grammarians; not my strong suit. It seems to me that we do not use "the" before a proper name, so I expect to see some revelation from other members that will be about the nature of the name/pronoun "Internet/internet". Perhaps it is actually grammatically incorrect to capitalize it. Then again, my Grammarly Firefox plugin just flagged "internet" as "incorrect article use", but it is perfectly happy with "Internet".

  3. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: I found the text material on the internet.

    Quote Originally Posted by MeyaN View Post
    Why is it 'on' the internet not 'in' the internet?
    Perhaps because 'on' is used in 'files on a computer/hard disk/DVD/USB drive/flash card'.
    I am not a teacher.

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