surf/browse the Internet

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  • roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hi! could you tell me what sounds better:
    1.I often surf the Internet
    2. I often surf the Internet.
    3. I often browse the Internet
    Number two is wrong, you need to add "the" which I did for you. Browse the Internet is okay, too. It means "to look around", "to search".

    Pablo
     

    b1947420

    Senior Member
    British English
    Hi! could you tell me what saunds better:
    1.I often serf the Internet
    2. I often surf Internet.
    3. I often browse (the) Internet
    2&3 are correct except you need to add "the" before Internet.

    Surf or browse are both acceptable verbs to use, afterall the software on your machine used to access the internet is called "browser software"
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    2&3 are correct except you need to add "the" before Internet.

    Surf or browse are both acceptable verbs to use, afterall the software on your machine used to access the internet is called "browser software"
    Is "browse" a word that you actually use, apart from it being "acceptable"? It's not a "wrong" word in this context but it just strikes me as odd to say "I'm going to browse the Internet." If it's commonly used, I'd like to know.
     

    b1947420

    Senior Member
    British English
    Is "browse" a word that you actually use, apart from it being "acceptable"? It's not a "wrong" word in this context but it just strikes me as odd to say "I'm going to browse the Internet." If it's commonly used, I'd like to know.
    Yes! It is commonly used.
    You use the "browser (software)" to browse or navigate the internet.
     

    roxcyn

    Senior Member
    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Is "browse" a word that you actually use, apart from it being "acceptable"? It's not a "wrong" word in this context but it just strikes me as odd to say "I'm going to browse the Internet." If it's commonly used, I'd like to know.
    Yes, of course. Surf the web means to "search" or "look around". Don't you browse through a catalog or browse in a store? It is a correct verb to use in English as a synonym for "searching"/"surfing"· on the web, my dear DIMCL.

    Pablo
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    Dimcl, browse the internet yields 185 million hits on Google, while surf the internet yields 28.9 million hits. As others have stated, browse the internet was the original phrase used for years before the world wide web became commercially available and was popularized in the mid- to late-nineties.

    By the way, Mashesia, 1.I often serf the Internet is incorrect. A serf is a person not a verb.
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Yes, of course. Surf the web means to "search" or "look around". Don't you browse through a catalog or browse in a store? It is a correct verb to use in English as a synonym for "searching"/"surfing"· on the web, my dear DIMCL.

    Pablo
    I understand perfectly what both "surf" and "browse" mean, thank you, Pablo. I simply don't hear "I'm going to browse the 'Net" as often as I do "I'm going to surf the 'Net". I've been on the 'Net practically before there was a 'Net (well, close :)) and I hear and read "surf" much more commonly among my friends and e-mail contacts. Could this simply be another AE/CaE difference?
     

    Cypherpunk

    Senior Member
    US, English
    I can't edit my previous post, but it was pointed out that my numbers were a bit excessive. (forgot to, ahem, use quotes, during the search :rolleyes:) In any case, I didn't want to leave erroneous information on the board.

    Dimcl, browse the internet yields 3.4 million hits on Google, while surf the internet yields 2 million hits. As others have stated, browse the internet was the original phrase used for years before the world wide web became commercially available and was popularized in the mid- to late-nineties.

    By the way, Mashesia, 1.I often serf the Internet is incorrect. A serf is still a person not a verb.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Just to add - although I hear both "surf" and "browse" I wouldn't actually use either.

    "I'll check it out on the internet"/"I'll look it up on the computer"...
     

    Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Just to add - although I hear both "surf" and "browse" I wouldn't actually use either.

    "I'll check it out on the internet"/"I'll look it up on the computer"...
    Ah, yes, but looking something up or checking something out doesn't qualify as surfing or browsing, Loob. I wouldn't use either if I was looking something up, either (that's a lot of "eithers" isn't it?).
     

    Claxy87

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    I was reading this thread and I was wondering: Does "surf/browse the Internet" also mean to be able to use/manage/go through the Internet? Or does it only mean to read Web pages casually on the Internet?
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I was reading this thread and I was wondering: Does "surf/browse the Internet" also mean to be able to use/manage/go through the Internet? Or does it only mean to read Web pages casually on the Internet?
    Technically 'no', but you'd be fine saying it anyway. Basically 'casually reading' on the internet and 'use/manage/going through the internet' are intertwined.

    So I'd say you'd be fine using "surfing the net" (my personal, idiomatic usage) for any and all of the above.

    "What are you doing, Bob?"
    "Oh, just surfing the net. What about you?"
     

    Claxy87

    Senior Member
    Italian-Italy
    If I had to put computer skills in my cv for example, could I write that I have "the ability to surf the net"? Or wolud it be too informal and generic?
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I would not use it in that situation. "Surf the web/net" is just a casual thing that we all do. It would not sound very impressive. :)

    My 6 year old niece can 'surf the net'. So it's just too general if you wanted to show a skill of yours. :)
     
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