Student or Learner
I realize a sentence should not end in a preposition. However, I was recently asked to edit a paragraph for punctuation and was not given the freedom to change the wording. The sentence read:
In today's world, we must have something to hold (on to/onto).
Without rewording this sentence, can you tell me if onto/on to would be used.
I read that if you can not place the word "up" before "on", then you use two words. Example: I climbed (up) onto the stage. vs. I drove (up) on to the park. In the sentence in question, (up) could not be placed and make sense.
In today's world, we must have something to hold (up) on to/onto.
Using this guideline, I would have to say that you would use two words.
Thanks for you help!
Your native language is English (albeit, to be kind, adulterated)...so I don't have to choose simple words:
A preposition, as such, at the end of a sentence is fine.
It should read, 'something to hold onto' - his grasp is, figuratively, in physical contact with something 'solid' in today's ever-changing world'
'to' indicates motion towards; and 'on' has two meanings:
1. physically in contact with a surface
2. having something mentioned as a goal or target: "They marched on Washington". (You won't hear Washington going 'ouch'.)
You combine the two in such instances as:
"He climbed up onto the roof." - movement towards and physically in contact with, on top of.
If you read, "He moved on to greener pastures" you know that it doesn't mean he started walking on the grass of some other field.
It is when 'on' has this meaning of 'goal', 'target' ' that we separate 'on' and 'to'.
"Let's go on to the next chapter."
"Let's move on to another bar and see if the chicks are any hotter."
(forgive me - that just ...slipped out. It's how I envisage conversations in bars on the Strip in LA.)
Last edited by David L.; 27-Mar-2009 at 20:25.