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at vs on website

English translation: on, but see comments

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01:46 Mar 11, 2007
English to English translations [PRO]
Linguistics / prepositions
English term or phrase: at vs on website
Another tricky point that I'd like to consult with natives about. Is it a matter of BrE (at) and AmE (on) - to knock at/on, at/on the weekend - or are both acceptable?
And in analogy with this - on/in the Internet, Br/AmE?
Thank you.
Ara Mkrtchyan
Armenia
Local time: 21:09
English translation:on, but see comments
Explanation:
My own feeling is that 'on' is more comfortable in most cases with a website, except when the formulation inlcudes a URL, in which case, one might understand that as an address, and as such, it feels more natural to say 'at'; for example "Come and visit us on our shiny new website at www.xxx.com" — but usage does vary quite a lot, depending on the kind of 'character' users wish to give to their website.

'at the weekend' is definitely correct for BE, 'on the weekend' these days sounds distinctly AE to my British ears.

and as far as knocking is concerned, both 'on' and 'at' are used, sometimes with a difference of meaning: "he knocked at every house in the road till someone answered" (in this case, you couldn't say 'on') vs "he knocked three times on the table" (in this case, you couldn't use 'at'), but sometimes completely interchangeably: "The twins heard a knock at/on the door" (but the person doing the knocking was hidden from them on the other side of it...)

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Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-11 11:51:16 GMT)
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I would certainly agree with all those who have already said that it is very hard indeed to imagine a situation where you could use 'in' with a website.

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Note added at 11 hrs (2007-03-11 13:41:58 GMT)
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I think you've raised an interesting point in your latest notes, Ara.

Really and truly, 'to knock' could be regarded as either a transitive or an intransitive verb: you could say "he knocked his glass", or you could say "he knocked on the table"

If we want a preposition to express a second level of position, then we'd need to use it with 'at':

He knocked on the table — where did he do this? at work

to knock on (apart, of course, from special uses like in 'knock-on effect') gives us the option to use a less direct object than the transitive verb would take: "He knocked his shin as he went to knock on the door", and the transitive verb doesn't always feel too comfortable when it is being used in the sense of 'making a deliberate noise'

I'm sure there are lots of fancy grammatical names and rules for all this! To start with, 'to knock on' could be regarded as a transitive inseparable phrasal verb, as could 'to knock into', whereas 'to knock over' can be used either separably or inseparably: "she knocked her glass over" OR "she knocked over her glass"

Amazing to think how many different ways one can use a simple little word like 'knock'!
Selected response from:

Tony M
France
Local time: 19:09
Grading comment
I see quite eye to eye on your reply to the fourth peer comment (though definitely not the last one). The way of explaining sth is of paramount importance.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +6On the website. Never: atAnna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
4 +5on, but see comments
Tony M
5potatoe/potato
Buck


Discussion entries: 10





  

Answers


4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +6
On the website. Never: at


Explanation:
*

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2007-03-11 01:55:09 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Or:

You can check our website at www.proz.com

You can find more information on our website at www.proz.com

As for knock: It depends what you are knocking.
The was a knock at the door.
Someone just knocked on the door.
I will knock on your door.

Not enough context to explain further.

www.world-english.org

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 mins (2007-03-11 01:56:54 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry: there was a knock at the door.

No difference between BrE or AmE really. Both are acceptable.

Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com
France
Local time: 19:09
Meets criteria
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish, Native in FrenchFrench
PRO pts in category: 28
Notes to answerer
Asker: Anna, you mean to say that at is used with the noun and on - with the verb?


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Deborah Workman: //I second writeaway's comment below!
40 mins
  -> Thank you

agree  JaneTranslates
2 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  CJG
7 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  kmtext
9 hrs
  -> Thank you

agree  writeaway: yes, this is the answer to the actual question.you gave it first after all./looks like your answer was several kilometres too short to be good enough. ;-) looks like the 1st Kudoz essay contest has just been held. answers under 400 words not eligible.
16 hrs
  -> Yes, I did. Thank you for your support

agree  Amy Williams
1 day7 hrs
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
on, but see comments


Explanation:
My own feeling is that 'on' is more comfortable in most cases with a website, except when the formulation inlcudes a URL, in which case, one might understand that as an address, and as such, it feels more natural to say 'at'; for example "Come and visit us on our shiny new website at www.xxx.com" — but usage does vary quite a lot, depending on the kind of 'character' users wish to give to their website.

'at the weekend' is definitely correct for BE, 'on the weekend' these days sounds distinctly AE to my British ears.

and as far as knocking is concerned, both 'on' and 'at' are used, sometimes with a difference of meaning: "he knocked at every house in the road till someone answered" (in this case, you couldn't say 'on') vs "he knocked three times on the table" (in this case, you couldn't use 'at'), but sometimes completely interchangeably: "The twins heard a knock at/on the door" (but the person doing the knocking was hidden from them on the other side of it...)

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 10 hrs (2007-03-11 11:51:16 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I would certainly agree with all those who have already said that it is very hard indeed to imagine a situation where you could use 'in' with a website.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 hrs (2007-03-11 13:41:58 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I think you've raised an interesting point in your latest notes, Ara.

Really and truly, 'to knock' could be regarded as either a transitive or an intransitive verb: you could say "he knocked his glass", or you could say "he knocked on the table"

If we want a preposition to express a second level of position, then we'd need to use it with 'at':

He knocked on the table — where did he do this? at work

to knock on (apart, of course, from special uses like in 'knock-on effect') gives us the option to use a less direct object than the transitive verb would take: "He knocked his shin as he went to knock on the door", and the transitive verb doesn't always feel too comfortable when it is being used in the sense of 'making a deliberate noise'

I'm sure there are lots of fancy grammatical names and rules for all this! To start with, 'to knock on' could be regarded as a transitive inseparable phrasal verb, as could 'to knock into', whereas 'to knock over' can be used either separably or inseparably: "she knocked her glass over" OR "she knocked over her glass"

Amazing to think how many different ways one can use a simple little word like 'knock'!

Tony M
France
Local time: 19:09
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 156
Grading comment
I see quite eye to eye on your reply to the fourth peer comment (though definitely not the last one). The way of explaining sth is of paramount importance.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Chris Rowson: Agree with all of this (I´m also British)
19 mins
  -> Thanks a lot, Chris! We Brits had better stick together! ;-)

agree  Jo Rourke: Yep! Sounds right to me! (I'm British too)
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Jo!

agree  kmtext: I'm with you on this one too, but then I'm knocking on and may not be familiar with all new usage!
1 hr
  -> Thanks, KMT! Oh, me too! 'Knocking on a bit' is a good one! (better, at any rate, than 'knocking at death's door'!!)

neutral  CJG: I am Ënglish too. I believe the first answer was the same as this one, though less lengthy: the point is, of course that there is no difference between AE and BE. I also think that in English, we would merely say, "Visit our website at..."".
8 hrs
  -> Well, I gave a more comprehsive expansion on the answer because Asker seemd to have some residual doubt; I addressed your issue with 'at' above, but it does all depend on how it is phrased; the only BE/AE difference I observe is 'on/at the weekend'

agree  Joe L: Though the asker seems to want a clear black or white answer re "at vs on website", its just not that simple. But your explanation is a most sensible one and should put him on the right path./// Again, well said!
8 hrs
  -> Thanks a lot, Joe! As ever, it is never that clear cut, so I had hoped a longer illustration might help Asker understand more fully; there's just no pleasing some people!

disagree  Anna Maria Augustine at proZ.com: Too pedantic. I'm of British origin - so I know I'm not superior, and don't have to stick together! Give me a cosmopolitan world with all its diversity.
9 hrs
  -> I hardly think a comprehensive and hence necessarily lengthy explanation intended to help an non-native asker get a 'feel' for an expression is 'linguistic justification' for your vindictive disagree. No question of being superior!

agree  Sophia Finos
10 hrs
  -> Thanks, Sophia!

agree  Marie Gomes: since when giving a clear and sensible explanation is "too pedantic"? Thanks, Tony, for an explanation that might help others in the future. I thought it was what Kudoz was all about, after all.
3 days11 hrs
  -> Thanks, Marie! Your support is appreciated.
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7 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
potatoe/potato


Explanation:
The great English divide aside, it is never, ever IN the Internet. On is the correct preposition.

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Note added at 1 day8 hrs (2007-03-12 10:04:12 GMT) Post-grading
--------------------------------------------------

there was no relevance of including a mispelled word. It was an accident.

Buck
Netherlands
Local time: 19:09
Meets criteria
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Tony M: What exactly is the relevance of introducing a mis-spelt word into your headword answer? This is not the way we spell it in native EN to highlight the BE/AE difference in pronunciation between -ay- and -ah- as in 'tomato' (but NOT 'potato'!)
19 mins

neutral  xxxcmwilliams: agree with Tony. It looks like you've been taking spelling lessons from Dan Quayle!!!
1 hr

neutral  writeaway: there is NO English divide here whatsoever. just like at/on the weekend-it's the same on both sides of the Atlantic.
8 hrs
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