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Thread: On vs. Onto

  1. #1 On vs. Onto 
    Forum Sophomore
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    Nov 2013
    Sheep were driven onto/on rocks and wrecked in the storm.

    Would you tell me which one is right?

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  3. #2  
    Life-Size Nanoputian Flick Montana's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    I'm not sure sheep would be wrecked in a storm, but if it were ships, I would go with onto or into.

    If you say the ships were driven on the rocks, it sounds like they were on the rocks to start with... or maybe captain was having a scotch on ice.

    "Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us." -Calvin
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  4. #3  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    Driven onto suggests that this was an event that occured at a point in time. At time A the ships were not on the rocks; a little time later they were on the rocks. They were driven onto them.

    However, I drive my car on the road. It is a continuous thing, not a singel event.

    "I was in a field and drove my car onto the road. Once it was on the road, I drove on the road to the nearest town."
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  5. #4  
    Time Lord
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    Apr 2008
    The "to" of onto makes this clear, so if you omit it we think you did that for a reason. If you say "the sheep were driven under rocks", you have no choice, and we take the most obvious meaning.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
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