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The cat jumped on the table. Options
onsen
Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2021 9:50:44 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/2017
Posts: 1,006
Neurons: 9,711
Hello,

Quote:

Usage Note: Both on and onto can be used to indicate motion toward a position: The cat jumped on the table or The cat jumped onto the table. However, onto is more specific, indicating that the motion was initiated from an outside point. They wandered onto the battlefield means that they began their wandering at some point off the battlefield, while They wandered on the battlefield implies that the wandering began on the battlefield.
on


About the sentence: The cat jumped on the table.
I understand from the Usage Note that the cat jumped where there wasn’t the table in question and as the result of the jumping, the cat was then on the table.
Is this what the Usage Note says?


Thank you.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, February 28, 2021 11:12:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,647
Neurons: 74,672
onsen wrote:
Hello,

Quote:

Usage Note: Both on and onto can be used to indicate motion toward a position: The cat jumped on the table or The cat jumped onto the table. However, onto is more specific, indicating that the motion was initiated from an outside point. They wandered onto the battlefield means that they began their wandering at some point off the battlefield, while They wandered on the battlefield implies that the wandering began on the battlefield.
on


About the sentence: The cat jumped on the table.
I understand from the Usage Note that the cat jumped where there wasn’t the table in question and as the result of the jumping, the cat was then on the table.
Is this what the Usage Note says?


Thank you.


Yes. You understand it correctly.
onsen
Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 5:05:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/2017
Posts: 1,006
Neurons: 9,711
FounDit wrote:

Yes. You understand it correctly.



Thank you very much, Foundit, for your reply.

How does one express the following case?

The cat was on the table. Then it began to jump there, not leaving the table. And it stopped jumping there, not leaving the table.

Is it the following sentence?

The cat jumped at the table.
thar
Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 5:37:03 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 7/8/2010
Posts: 24,024
Neurons: 97,374
no, that means it tried to attack the table.

To jump is a movement from one place to another.

I jumped onto the bus
I jumped into the pool
I jumped off the cliff
I jumped over the wall
I jumped at the rope.
The cat jumped up onto my lap.

it moves you from one place to another.

the only times it does not mean that is if:
1
It means to be startled: there was a loud bang and I jumped.
There it is not literal. Your feet don't leave the floor. You just stiffen and jerk.

2
It is a situation where there is some surface you naturally bounce on, or the context makes that logical:
I climbed onto the trampoline and jumped on it a few times (ie I jumped up and down on the trampoline)
After I mended the floorboard I jumped on it several times to check it was secure. (ie I jumped up and down to test the strength of the wood).
I jumped on the cardboard box several times to flatten it. (The first jump is from the floor onto the box, and after that it is up and down on the box)

3
if you are leaping upwards and landing in approximately the same place, you jump up and down
that is how you express not moving from your location
The children jumped up and down on the mattress.


I jumped onto the bed
= floor to bed

I jumped up and down on the bed
= bed to same place on bed.


I personally would probably use the dynamic preposition
the cat jumped up onto the table..

But if I heard 'the cat jumped on the table' that does not mean it was already on the table. Logically, that makes no sense. Cats don't regularly jump up and down in the same place. And it means the verb is complete in itself, with no destination. The cat jumped. That is not a natural idea to express on its own. You state the movement - onto, across, over, down to etc. Even if that is not stated in that sentence, it is implied by the context.
eg we got to the edge of the cliff, and I jumped.
That means you jumped off the cliff. You jumped into the water, you jumped onto the rocks.
It does not mean you jumped up and down in that location, landing in the same place on the edge of the cliff.

If the cat were startled or playing, and actually did jump up and land in the same place, you would say something like
'the cat was on the table and it jumped up in the air'.
Then, since gravity would bring it down again, you know it would land back on the table.

jump = leap from one place to another
jump up and down / jump up into the air = land in the same place


So why the static 'on' rather than the dynamic onto?
Because people are lazy. You only need to use the language necessary to express your meaning to the listener.
There is no need to specify the dynamic nature of the move, because it does not make any sense as a static location. The cat jumps. That means it goes from one place to another. It started on the floor, it ended up on the table.

For some verbs, 'in' has to be dynamic.
eg
I climbed into the car - dynamic motion
I climbed in the car - dynamic motion.
it is not a dynamic preposition, but it works because if you are in the car, it makes no sense as an action.
I was in the car. I climbed.

for the same reason
the cat jumped onto the table (dynamic motion)
The cat jumped on the table (dynamic motion)
because it makes no sense as an isolated verb. It would only mean it was startled.
the cat was on the table. It jumped.


For verbs where it does work both ways, you need to have context or tweak the verb.

I sat in the car. = dynamic (I was standing outside the car, then sat down inside it)
or
I sat in the car = static state. I was sitting in the car.

You can't use 'sit into' so you have to use 'in'. It can be used to express a change of location.


onsen
Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021 5:41:56 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/2017
Posts: 1,006
Neurons: 9,711
thar wrote:


For verbs where it does work both ways, you need to have context or tweak the verb.

I sat in the car. = dynamic (I was standing outside the car, then sat down inside it)
or
I sat in the car = static state. I was sitting in the car.

You can't use 'sit into' so you have to use 'in'. It can be used to express a change of location.


I read the above quote with interest.

I’d like to ask you a question.
Are the two following self-made sentences correct?
Are they static in the use of the preposition 'on'?

A. The cat jumped up and down on the trampoline.

B. The cat jumped on the trampoline.
FounDit
Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021 10:08:20 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 15,647
Neurons: 74,672
onsen wrote:
thar wrote:


For verbs where it does work both ways, you need to have context or tweak the verb.

I sat in the car. = dynamic (I was standing outside the car, then sat down inside it)
or
I sat in the car = static state. I was sitting in the car.

You can't use 'sit into' so you have to use 'in'. It can be used to express a change of location.


I read the above quote with interest.

I’d like to ask you a question.
Are the two following self-made sentences correct?
Are they static in the use of the preposition 'on'?

A. The cat jumped up and down on the trampoline. This one is clear and understandable.

B. The cat jumped on the trampoline. This one is ambiguous. It isn't clear if the cat was already on the trampoline, or jumped from the ground onto the trampoline.

So, understanding that, if the cat jumped from the ground, we'd usually add one word to make clear what we mean: The cat jumped up on/onto the trampoline.

If the cat was already on the trampoline, we'd likely add words to clarify that: The cat jumped on the trampoline like a human would.

Audiendus
Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021 12:07:28 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/2011
Posts: 7,222
Neurons: 1,354,562
Location: London, England, United Kingdom
onsen wrote:
How does one express the following case?

The cat was on the table. Then it began to jump there, not leaving the table. And it stopped jumping there, not leaving the table.

I might say: "The cat jumped about on the table".
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