Friday, February 7, 2014

Tricky Words (Part 2 of 8)

On and onto.

"I get hung up on the difference between on and onto," one reader wrote. "What's the difference?"

The simple answer is whether it involves movement. The bread is on the table (no movement). Harold is putting the salad onto the table. Most people would use on in both sentences, but onto is correct in the second sentence because it shows the salad is being moved.

Try this: Replace on with on top of or in the position of. If it fits, we know that on is correct.

* Her hand rested on mine. (The hand is there—no movement.)

* That tie looks elegant on you. Here the tie is in position. The man is wearing it.

* Baby Todd jumped onto my back. (The boy moved from where he was to me.) 

As a growing professional,
I distinguish between even the small words.

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