Onto vs On to

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What’s the difference between them?



Onto means to a position on top of or covering something, or in the direction of something.


1. She quickly hopped onto the bus.

2. He carefully laid the gift onto the table.

3. She stepped onto the stage to accept her award.

On to


On to means 'going forward to the next step or stage'.


1. We decided to move on to the next topic of discussion.

2. She quickly moved on to her next project.

3. Everyone was ready to move on to the next activity.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference





on top of


On to


There are no direct antonyms for this word.

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "Onto", "On to".

1. Onto is a preposition that is used to indicate movement to a place, position, or situation.

2. On to is a phrase that consists of two words, 'on' and 'to', used together to indicate movement towards something.

3. A mnemonic to remember the difference between 'onto' and 'on to' is. 'Hop onto the bus to move on to the countryside.'

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Frequently asked questions

When to use the word 'onto'?

'Onto' is mainly used to describe movement to a surface or a destination. For example, 'She stepped onto the stage' means that she moved to the stage. It can also be used to talk about the result of an action, as in 'He put the book onto the shelf' which means he placed the book on the shelf.

When to use the words 'on to'?

The words 'on to' are mainly used to describe movement. They mean the same as 'onto', but can also be used to describe the order of a sequence of actions. For example, 'She moved on to the next task' means that she started working on the next task.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

Yes, the words 'onto' and 'on to' have the same pronunciation.

What are common mistakes associated with words 'onto' and 'on to'?

The most common mistake is using 'onto' and 'on to' interchangeably. While they can mean the same thing, 'onto' is mainly used to describe movement to a surface or destination, while 'on to' is mainly used to describe the order of a sequence of actions.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. Please put the books ___ the shelf.

2. The cat jumped ___ the windowsill.

3. He moved ___ the next topic after explaining the first one.

4. Sarah held ___ her hat as the wind blew.

5. Ill log ___ the computer and check my emails.

6. The water spilled and flowed ___ the table.

1. onto

Explanation: In this context, onto describes movement and direction where the books end up on the shelf as a result of the action.

2. onto

Explanation: Here, onto also indicates movement. The cat was not on the windowsill before but jumped to be on it.

3. on to

Explanation: This phrase indicates a progression or moving forward. The speaker finished with one topic and then proceeded to another.

4. on to

Explanation: In this context, held on is a phrasal verb meaning to grip or clutch something. To is a preposition here that relates the verb (held) to its object (her hat).

5. on to

Explanation: Log on is a phrasal verb meaning to start using a computer system. To is a preposition here that relates the verb (log) to its object (the computer).

6. onto

Explanation: Onto describes the direction of the waters movement from one place to another. The water wasnt on the table before but flowed so it ended up on the table.

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