1. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Onto / on to

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jakeybum, Aug 16, 2015.

    Is it:

    Hold on to the rope.
    Hold on to your hats.

    Or should the one-word form "onto" be used in those two?

    Sincerely,

    Jake
     
  2. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I asked myself the same question yesterday. Thankfully it's slightly more straight forward than the who / whom conundrum.

    Your answer lies in Rule 3

    On to vs. Onto

    Rule 1: In general, use onto as one word to mean “on top of,” “to a position on,” “upon.”

    Examples:
    He climbed onto the roof.
    Let’s step onto the dance floor.


    Rule 2: Use onto when you mean “fully aware of,” “informed about.”

    Examples:
    I’m onto your scheme.
    We canceled Julia’s surprise party when we realized she was onto our plan.


    Rule 3: Use on to, two words, when on is part of the verb.

    Examples:
    We canceled Julia’s surprise party when we realized she caught on to our plan.
    (caught on is a verb phrase)
    I’m going to log on to the computer. (log on is a verb phrase)
     
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  3. jakeybum
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    jakeybum Member

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    Excellent! Thank you! I will save this!

    Sincerely,

    Jake
     
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