If you get mixed up about when to use “onto” and “on to”, you’re not alone. I received a question about this at DearEditor.com and asked Robin Cruise, freelance editor at Red Pencil Consulting, to field it because she’s so good at explaining grammar stuff in accessible ways. Here’s the question:
Which is right?
1) Jane stepped onto the patio.
2) Jane stepped on to the patio.
My net surfing tells me #1 is right, that if a person or thing is “upon” a concrete object, you can use “onto” and reserve “on to” for things non-concrete or metaphorical, like “Please move on to the next topic.” Is there a net site I could use as a reference?
Thanks so much,
All Mixed Up
Click here for Robin’s spunky answer: http://deareditor.com/?p=5552
Robin Cruise has worked in various capacities in trade publishing for more than twenty years. Since launching Red Pencil Consulting in November 2011, she has collaborated directly with authors, illustrators, agents, editors, content developers, publishers, and other individuals/entrepreneurs/businesses. She is a skilled researcher, writer, editor, and project manager who helps create, shape, and deliver high-quality content for readers of all ages, both fiction and nonfiction for adults as well as children. Robin may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.