I see both used, at times, almost interchangeably. What are the general guidelines?
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As reported by the NOAD, into has the following meanings:
As side note, in some cases it is correct to write onto, but in some cases it is correct to write on to.
kiamlaluno's answer is comprehensive. A simplified answer is
means A is somehow inside B and enclosed by it.
means B has a horizontal surface on top of which A now rests.
It's the difference between in and on.
You get into a cockpit and onto a highway. We go in to be able to say we were here but we are always the ones who move on to the next one.
Inside the cockpit, on top of the highway. We go in(side) (in order) to be able to say we did it; when you are ready to move on to something better let me know; I'll get you onto the waiting list.