It was something he could latch on to.

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arjun78

Senior Member
India-Hindi
Or:

It was something he could latch onto.

I am wondering whether 'on to' and 'onto' are one and the same. Which is correct in case they're different? Can someone provide examples on when to use 'onto' and when to use 'on to?'
 
  • Arkalai

    Senior Member
    English- British
    Hello.

    I think the correct choice is "latch on to"
    There is a difference between "on to" and "onto".

    On to - on is an adverb, and to is a preposition. "The police were on to the case".
    Onto - is simply a preposition. "I put it onto the shelf".

    I think it's "on to"because the "to" is contextual and not always necessary. "The grapple hook latched on".

    Hope this helps
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Does "latched on" always have negative connotations in its metaphorical use? I've always thought that what the people latched on might seem very wrong to outsiders. Is it always used in this way:

    Some drug users latched on to a recent study about the potential health benefits of meth and called for its legalization in the state. (My own attempt)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    No, it is neutral. If you Google "latched on", you'll see lots of hits about babies and nipples. ;)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Does "latched on" always have negative connotations in its metaphorical use? No, it is entirely neutral, "I was struggling to get the bicycle tyre off until I latched on to the idea of using spoons as levers."
     
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