On, onto - English Grammar Today - Cambridge Dictionaries Online Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

On, onto

from English Grammar Today

On and onto are prepositions.

We use on when we refer to a position on a surface (on the table, on the ocean, on the moon, on the roof, on the bus):

Your keys are on the table.

The men were standing on the roof.

We use onto to talk about direction or movement to a position on a surface, usually with a verb that expresses movement:

The cat climbed onto the roof.

She emptied the suitcase full of clothes onto the floor.

We use on to describe a position along a road or river or by the sea or by a lake:

The hotel is on the road opposite the beach.

They have a fabulous house on a lake in Ireland.

We use onto to describe movement towards an end position along a road or river:

The path leads onto the main road.

We use on or onto with very little difference in meaning to refer to attachment or movement of something to something else. Onto gives a stronger feeling of movement:

There’s a battery pack with the camera that you can clip onto a belt.

You can save the data onto your hard disk.

Have you put the pictures on your memory stick?

(“On, onto” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press.)
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website
European Union – in or out? The language of the UK’s referendum
European Union – in or out? The language of the UK’s referendum
by ,
June 22, 2016
by Liz Walter On June 23rd, Britain will decide whether or not to remain part of the European Union (EU). I’m more than happy to bore friends with my own views on the subject, but the purpose of this post is simply to highlight the language of the debate. The precise question we will be answering

Read More 

Word of the Day

act out

to behave badly because you are unhappy or upset , often in ways that you are not aware of

Word of the Day

foodfie noun
foodfie noun
June 20, 2016
informal a photograph of the food that you are eating Foodfie on Instagram

Read More