onto, upon, unto, ...

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by Jazztronik, Apr 21, 2006.

  1. Jazztronik Senior Member

    Spanish, Spain
    I'd like to know if it is necessary to use always onto instead of on when the sentence implies a movement:

    "He fell onto the ground heavily".
    "He fell on the ground heavily".

    the same as it's common to do with into :

    "He got into the house".
    "He got in the house" (doesn't sound proper enough to me).
    "He's in the house". (sounds good because it doen's imply movement).

    Is this sentence more correct:
    "There upon the rainbow..."
    "There on the rainbow..."?

    What does "unto" mean?
  2. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    1. All your examples look fine to me, except that on to (unlike into) is spelt as two words, not one. Where there is movement, 'into' might be a fraction more elegant than 'in', but 'in' is not wrong.

    2. 'Upon' is a poetic alternative to 'on'. You can wish upon a star / rainbow, or more prosaically wish on a star / rainbow. (In fact I am not sure that we do wish on / upon stars or rainbows in the UK, but I have heard of doing so from American usage). I am not sure in what context one might say 'there on the rainbow'. What exists on a rainbow?

    3. 'Unto' is an archaic alternative to 'to'.
  3. loureed4 Senior Member

    I thought it was all a matter of two words coming together over time:

    "upon" = "up" + "on" .
    "onto" = "on" + "to".

    Even if this is true, I find it quite struggling, to use them both.

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