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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 20
    #1

    need help with " on / onto."

    so "on" is when a object is not in motion.

    and "onto" is when a object is in motion, right.

    like: She steps onto the rugs.

    what about: John and Jack hold onto the railing and look down below.

    and :The book sits on the table.

    I just need to understand the on / onto better. can you post links.

    is the "on / onto" just a preference of style or is it the law.
    Last edited by market; 23-Jan-2007 at 18:14.

  1. rancher247's Avatar
    • Member Info
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      • English
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    • Join Date: Jan 2007
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    #2

    Re: need help with " on / onto."

    Yes, I can definitely post links since that's my specialty.
    Into/In To; Onto/In To
    Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In (to)
    Sorry I couldn't find more!
    Hope these help.

  2. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #3

    Re: need help with " on / onto."

    Nice finds, rancher247.


    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 20
    #4

    Re: need help with " on / onto."

    but is my phrase of: Jake and john hold onto the railing and look down below.

    is that correct?

  3. rancher247's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jan 2007
    • Posts: 275
    #5

    Re: need help with " on / onto."

    Yes, I think the sentence is correct.
    The use of "onto" is definitely correct.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

    • Join Date: Sep 2003
    • Posts: 12,970
    #6

    Re: need help with " on / onto."

    "The cat walked onto the mat" means the cat moved from the floor to the mat. 'onto' describes movement form point A to point B. Now, is there movement here?

    Ex: ?Jake and John hold onto the railing.
    No.

    What about this one?
    Ex: Sam stepped onto the boat.
    Yes.

    What about this one?
    Ex: Pat hung on to the wing of the plane.
    No.

    Note that, 'hung onto' and 'hold onto' are idioms meaning to keep:

    Ex: Jake and John held onto the railing (for the railway company).
    => They kept it.

    Ex: Pat hung onto the wing of the plane.
    => Pat kept it.

    In short, if 'onto' admits ambiguity, use 'on to'.

    Check out the difference in meaning here:

    Hold on to your hat. (maintain one's grip)
    Hold onto your hat. (an expression warning someone of a big surprise)

    Ex: Hold on to your hat in this wind.
    Ex: Hold onto your hat. You've won the lottery!

    Source

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