on / onto

MMex   Sun Sep 17, 2006 1:59 pm GMT

I'm not sure if it should be "to write (something) on the board" or "to write (something) onto the board" . To me both versions sound correct, but I'm always wondering which is the better / more correct one.
Aquatar   Sun Sep 17, 2006 2:46 pm GMT
It's better to say "to write something on the board". Although "onto the board" might not be technically incorrect, it doesn't sound very natural to my ears. Likewise you should say "write it in the book" and not "into the book"
Q   Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:30 pm GMT
"on" the board is what the majority of native speakers would use in conversation.
Kelly   Sun Sep 17, 2006 10:14 pm GMT
''We drove on the beach'' [location]
''We drove onto the beach'' [direction]
Guest   Mon Sep 18, 2006 8:56 am GMT

Is it really clear though, if you are writing something in a book or on a board, whether it is location or direction. It's a bit ambiguous isn't it. I suppose once the pen is on the paper, it is indeed 'on' it, but as you have to bring the pen to it, and you lift the pen off again intermittently, it does also have the sense of direction. Sorry, don't mean to be picky, and am not saying it's wrong in English to use 'on', it's definitely right. I'm just wondering about the logic, as German would use the equivalent of 'onto' or 'into', and I think if you used 'on the board' in that language, it would imply you yourself were on the board while you were writing :O
M56   Mon Sep 18, 2006 10:21 am GMT
Kelly's right.