2

I have an easy question about the correct usage of the prepositions after the verb "go" when we want to refer to a website.

Which of these is the more correct expression?

A) If you want to download that file, you have to go AT ThisIsATest.com

B) If you want to download that file, you have to go TO ThisIsATest.com

Is it true that the former sentence is used in American English and the latter is used in British English?

I've just found out on the Internet that some people use "go ON". Is this other alternative correct?

8
  • When you go at something, you're attacking it, attempting it ('have a go' at it), or otherwise doing something to it other than simply visiting it. I favour BrE (British English), but I don't think AmE speakers would say otherwise. Regarding the later edit, I'd still prefer go to or visit to go on. I don't think it is idiomatic to say "go on a website" in the sense you intend. You can, however, say that a picture or blog should go on (i.e. be placed on or uploaded to) the website.
    – Lawrence
    Aug 8 '16 at 11:09
  • I've encountered lots of instances of people saying "go on <website name> and do such and such`. Like "Go on facebook and tell everyone about it" or "go on google and look for blah". Aug 8 '16 at 11:38
  • In British English I would always use 'to' - 'to download the file, go to [link]'. 'Go on' and 'Go at' do not have the same meaning, at least in British English.
    – rhm
    Aug 8 '16 at 11:38
  • To @MaxWilliams point, if you are talking about visiting a website you might say 'go on/onto' that website to download the file, but if you are writing an instruction or content linking to the web page, then I think 'go to [url]' would be better.
    – rhm
    Aug 8 '16 at 11:42
  • 1
    @rhm ah yes you are right - you might say "Go onto facebook", but you would say "go to facebook.com". Aug 8 '16 at 11:50
0

Use go to www.somelink.com

There is no occurrence of go on/at www(.whatever.domain) in any book. Whilst there are nearly 28 thousand for go to www. This Ngram also shows only one trend.

There is no variation in the searches between American English and British English.

1
  • @cobaltduck Thx, somehow the comments made me only include go on. I changed the link.
    – Helmar
    Aug 8 '16 at 12:16
0

Here are some definitions of go when used in different ways:

Go

verb 1.3 (go to) Attend or visit for a particular purpose: we went to the cinema

noun, informal 1 chiefly British An attempt or trial at something: have a go at answering the questions yourself

noun, informal 2 British A person’s turn to use or do something: I had a go on Nigel’s racing bike

- ODO

When you go at something, you're attacking it, attempting it (have a go at it), or otherwise doing something to it other than simply visiting it.

For the purpose of this discussion, we would consider a website to be a place, so you would direct people to go to the website.

It is also idiomatic to say, for example, "Go on Facebook". However, this carries the sense of logging onto the site or needing to go through some process of entering your credentials, rather than simply visiting it.

So to answer your specific questions:

  • A or B: your sentence B ("go to ThisIsATest.com") would be preferred over sentence A ("go at ThisIsATest.com").

  • BrE vs AmE: I usually favour British English, but I believe American English speakers would concur with this conclusion.

  • to vs on: if you are directing people to a site, treating the site as the destination, use go to (or simply "visit ThisIsATest.com", leaving out go altogether). If you are including the notion of site access (passwords, etc), it could be argued that go on is in common use, but it would be better to say, "Go onto ThisIsATest.com", or better yet, "Log into ThisIsATest.com".

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.