onboard / aboard

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Spain, Spanish & Catalan
I would like to know when it is better to use aboard and when onboard, referring to a ship or cruise, and if they are exactly the same or not.

Thank you very much! :)
  • dakel

    Senior Member
    USA- English
    Also, a train conductor would yell "all aboard" as a final call to anyone else who might want to get on the train because the train was about to leave the station. Aboard is an adverb or a preposition- very confusing. It is possible to say "I am aboard the ship." or "I am on board the ship." To me, neither one is incorrect. On-board (it's hyphenated in my dictionary) is an adjective.

    "I am on-board." -- adjective modifying noun... situated on the ship; I don't see why this couldn't be considered a preposition as well though
    "I am aboard." --preposition showing location of subject
    "We will go aboard." --also a preposition showing location
    "Welcome aboard, sir." -- adverb answering the question "where?", modifying the verb

    This topic is very ambiguous. I truly don't think anyone would correct you if you used them interchangeably, except in the idioms "all aboard" and "welcome aboard". I can't even distinguish them clearly as different parts of speech! Maybe someone else has other ideas...?


    Senior Member
    Which sentence is correct?

    "While we were sleeping aboard, the train arrived in XXX city."

    While we were sleeping onboard, the train arrived in XXX city."

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