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  1. carolharvey
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    #1

    Is it 'onto' or 'on to'

    My colleague and I are in constant debate about the use of onto. For example, if I write "I climbed onto the table" is this correct or should I write "on to"?

    Please put us out of our misery.

    Thanks

  2. BobK's Avatar
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      • UK
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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: Is it 'onto' or 'on to'

    Quote Originally Posted by carolharvey View Post
    My colleague and I are in constant debate about the use of onto. For example, if I write "I climbed onto the table" is this correct or should I write "on to"?

    Please put us out of our misery.

    Thanks
    Both are possible.

    I wanted to go to Birmingham, but you carried me on to Crewe.

    But

    The cat jumped onto the table.

    So you and your colleague are both right sometimes (unless you or s/he advocate the use of one or the other all the time - which would be wrong).

    b

  3. Casiopea's Avatar

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

    Re: Is it 'onto' or 'on to'

    Additionally, both are used, true, but the standard preposition for verbs denoting an action is onto, one word.

    Here are a few sources for you and your colleague:

    Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In (to)

    Into/In To; Onto/In To

    onto/on to


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 2
    #4

    Re: Is it 'onto' or 'on to'

    You said
    "if I write "I climbed onto the table" is this correct"
    YES you are quite right, because the verb "climb" is a verb which implies 'movement'
    Into and onto are used with (some kind of) motion whereas in and on are used when the situation is static.
    I went into the room. I stayed in the room for 3 hours. - or at least, that's the rule, but it's not always used. (Instead of "Put the glass onto the table", you will hear "Put the glass on the table")
    Not to be confused with the "on" which is part of a phrasal verb as in "carry on". Example: "we went to London and then we went to Birmingham" = "We went to London and then we carried on to Birmingham"


    • Join Date: Feb 2008
    • Posts: 2
    #5

    Re: Is it 'onto' or 'on to'

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea View Post

    Here are a few sources for you and your colleague:

    Prepositions of Direction: To, On (to), In (to)

    Into/In To; Onto/In To

    onto/on to


    Oops - sorry Casiopea - your links say it all !


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #6

    Re: Is it 'onto' or 'on to'


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