Saturday, January 23, 2010

Prepositions are crazy

The dh just asked me, "Do I say, 'More facts can be found at (or on) this website?"

I said, with that perspicacity and sagaciousness that get little credit at home, "They can be found AT the website, because they are ON the website."

What do you all think? You can understand why English prepositions defeat the most fluent non-native speaker... well, even the native speaker, because I don't know either.

Not that I'm going to let the dh know that I'm not sure I'm absolutely right. :)



Matthew Delman said...

"At" is definitely the best word to use when you're directing people to a website. I see this all the time in the press releases I distribute as part of my day job, and your reasoning is a correct one.

And of course you're not going to let dh know you're not 100% sure of the correct response. Goes without saying.

Jordan said...

Hm. I think "at" is clearly the better choice if you're giving a web address:

You can find more about this at

But if you're just naming the website, it doesn't sound as natural:

You can find more about this at our website.


You can find more about this on our website.

And just to cover all the bases, you can find out more about this on our website at

To me, it's like saying "You can find us at [address]" versus "You can find the sign on the wall." I guess that's a specific/generic location difference?

Jordan said...

(And I suppose going along with the specific/generic difference, if we just say "find out more on our website," I assume that visitors are probably going to have to do at least a little clicking to find out more, so it's somewhere on the website, as opposed to just being right there, as it would be when giving the specific page address.)

Dave Shaw said...

You live at an address.
You live on a lot, or a street, or an acre, or whatever.
Any reason not to treat the web the same way?

Eva Gale said...



Edittorrent said...

Sounds good to me!

In England, don't they say you live "in" a street?

Kate Higgins said...

My Grandma Anna, a 3rd grade teacher, told me that a preposition was anything a rabbit could be or do to a mountain: of,at,on, behind,beyond, down, from, inside,opposite,through, to, under...well, you get the idea. This has always help me understand when and how to use one.

Adrian said...

Dave Shaw's got the right idea. Facts may be found AT a website or ON a web page.