give on v. give onto


Which preposition would you pick in the following sentences:

I’m asking this because in some sentences “on” was used and in some - “onto”.

Thanks in advance !

As “give onto” means “to open in the direction of something”, I’d imagine all doors above gave onto the area mentioned. Never heard “gave on” used in such contexts. Where did you see “gave on” being used? Can you post the links?

By Stephen King :wink:

Anybody else, can you give me a hand with this, please ? :roll:

Don’t you understand my explanation?

Which novel or screenplay?

Hi Alex

I’d normally use “onto”.
Can you post specific examples in which “give onto” was used and in which “give on” was used?

By the way, I’m reading Duma Key at the moment. Your sentences aren’t by any chance from that book, are they?

And when would you use “give on”?

Hi, Amy

Yes, sure, for example in Firestarter (1980)

or in Bag of Bones (which I’m now reading)

Maybe, we can chalk the difference up to regional dialect, though he resides in Maine, not far from your dwelling :slight_smile:

No, I’m reading Bag of Bones at the moment. I looked Duma Key up on the internet and it was published this year, a new one. Which means that I can get my hands on it not too soon, unless I order it by mail from the USA, that is (which I can’t possibly do due to me being hard up) :lol:

So, what is your opinion on give on/onto?
Thanks !

Hi Alex

Well, the dialect in Maine is a bit different from what you’ll hear in my neck of the woods. My ear doesn’t completely reject “give on” as a possible alternate for “give onto”. So even though I can’t recall specifically having heard it used, I think I probably have heard it from time to time. And I also can’t say for sure whether I’ve only read “give on” in Stephen King books or not – I’ve read both of the books you quoted from. :lol: It’s just that I’m not sure I would actually use “give on” rather than “give onto” myself.

The only possibility that comes to mind is that he might tend to distinguish between “give on” and “give onto” in a way that is similar to the way you might distinguish between “open on” and “open onto”. (I’m sure I use both “open on” and “open onto”.) Perhaps the use of “on” is more likely when what you see beyond an open door is more distant or vast, or is being looked at in a more stationary way. The use of “onto” would present more of a sense of flow or motion – i.e. from here to there. It might be physical motion or visual motion.

Want me to mail you Duma Key when I’m finished reading it?[/size]

Hi, Amy

Yes, that’d be swell ! I’ll take you up on your offer.
I’ll PM you my address :smiley:

[i]-The stairs gave onto a main lobby, large and impressively paneled in imported dark wood, with wide window-doors to an oversized marble portico.

-The single steel door he chose gave onto a plaza on the other side of the building.[/i]

So which would you use for “the doors gave onto/on the living room”?

And doesn’t “give onto” mean “open onto” and/or “afford access to”?

Here’s a nice example of “gave on”:

Behind him the wall of windows gave on a blackness thick and heavy as wool.

Title The Universal Daughter
Author Sharon Solwitz

Is Stephen King Jewish, BTW?

I lived in Maine for 15 years. I can’t say I’ve ever heard or used “give on” used that way, but Stephen King can get away with a lot.

Hi Alex

What a coincidence! When I picked up Duma Key again last night, I ran into an example King’s use of “gave on” right away! :lol:

I followed him into an enormous cool parlor. A row of windows gave on a side courtyard filled with flowers – my daughters could have named half of them, Pam all of them, but I could only name the asters, dayflowers, elderberry, and foxglove.

“Give on” does seem to be a combination he’s fond of using.

I’m getting a feeling that give on refers to viewing, or the view, for King. In other words, a static action as opposed to the motion suggested by the preposition in “give onto”.

I’m glad you agree, M.

I agree that he may be using it that way, but I’m not sure I agree with his choice of words.

I’m not sure I agree with the limitation you place on “give on”