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march on something Options
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 8:51:57 AM
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Joined: 9/14/2017
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march 1 verb
1a. to walk along a road as part of a group of people protesting about something: Health workers are today marching through the centre of London in protest at government cuts.
march on sth (= towards it) The day before, 50,000 demonstrators had marched on the Pentagon.
(Macmillan English Dictionary)

About the phrase 'march on sth'.
The phrase is explained as 'towards it'.
Is the phrase 'march to sth' inappropriate?
If it is inappropriate, why is it so?

Thank you.
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 9:13:12 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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It does mean 'to' but it adds additional meaning to say 'on'.

To march to somewhere, it is the destination. To march on somewhere, it is the target of your protests.

These people were protesting against something the military was doing, presumably. So marching on the Pentagon was a demonstration of their anger at the Pentagon.

Often it is the same thing, you organise a march to end in front of the the people you want to confront (eg Parliament, a nuclear power station, whatever). But not always. You might march to a central square where everyone can give speeches, or to an open area to have a celebration, or to somewhere that is important to the marchers.

If soldiers march to Berlin, that is their destination. They might be attackers, they might be coming to help, they might be retreating, they might be returning victorious - you only know that is where they are going.

But if they march on Berlin, that is aggression, that is to take control of it.

This attempted coup d'état came to be known as the Beer Hall Putsch. They began at the Bürgerbräu Keller, a beer hall in the Bavarian city of Munich. Hitler and the Nazi Party aimed to seize control of the state government, march on Berlin, and overthrow the German federal government.

Obviously this example is an act of aggression, not a protest march, but the implication of the wording is the same - it is the target.
Adyl Mouhei
Posted: Saturday, June 29, 2019 11:23:35 AM

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Location: Casablanca, Grand Casablanca, Morocco
Thank you, it's nice of you to deliver this.
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