Pay attention to vs on

nunu7te

Senior Member
Italian-Italy
Hi natives,
I need your help in solving this dilemma!!!In school, I was always taught to use "to pay attention ON something", but "to pay attention to" doesn't sound bad to me, especially think of paying attention TO someone...is there any difference or are the two completely interchangeable?
Thanks for your help!
Nu
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I'd say the norm is "pay attention to"; I can't think of any context in which I'd say "pay attention on":(

    Do you have an example sentence, nunu7te?
     

    audiolaik

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Hi natives,
    I need your help in solving this dilemma!!!In school, I was always taught to use "to pay attention ON something", but "to pay attention to" doesn't sound bad to me, especially think of paying attention TO someone...is there any difference or are the two completely interchangeable?
    Thanks for your help!
    Nu
    Hi,

    I'm a bit surprised that you were always taught the version with the preposition "on" instead of "to". To the best of my limited knowledge, it should be "pay attention to something/somebody". If you insist on using "on", then you can resort to verbs like "focus" or "concentrate".

    But I'm just a mediocre teacher of English....
     

    nunu7te

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    Thank you all!
    I'm really surprised but pretty sure I was taught to pay attention ON what I'm doing, pay attention on the details, and so on...
    thanks for clarifying
    nu
     

    Poland91pl

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I'd say the norm is "pay attention to"; I can't think of any context in which I'd say "pay attention on":(

    Do you have an example sentence, nunu7te?
    E. G in these lyrics

    Boy, you want my body, wanna ride it like a Harley
    Once or twice around the block
    I bet I'll have you saying whoa, whoa!
    First stop, let me pop, drop like a helicop
    Pay attention on me while I show you the scenario

    IT has nothing to do with rhyming I guess
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I think the problem is that 'attention' and 'on' do go together sometimes, just not the way the OP says,
    "Class, I want you to focus your attention on the lesson." :tick: :tick:
    Yes. The "on" relates to the verb. Focus on works; pay on doesn't.

    It seems to me that AmE and BrE speakers are agreed: pay attention on:cross:
     

    bennymix

    Senior Member
    I think 'put' generally works, as well.

    The most efficient thing you can do is to put your attention on your own heart and create more coherence, symmetry and patience in your own rhythm, by simply breathing.

    The art of attention, by E. Brower.
    Art of Attention: Can Toxic Encounters Be Nourishing?
    ===


    Note also
    What is your attention on?

    The daily choice to focus on your road with God rather than stare at your dead end.

    by tmdozier May 30, 2018
    What is your attention on?
    ==========
    10 Steps To Become A Millionaire In 5 Years (Or Less) - Benjamin Hardy
    https://benjaminhardy.com/10-steps-to-become-a-millionaire-in-5-years-or...


    Or, is your attention on other things? Your attention can be measured by what triggers you in your environment.

    ===
    Also: Coach to football team, "Everyone: Keep your attention on the ball!" :tick:
     
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