The word "on" is a very common preposition, but there are some other interesting and important ways to use "on" that you should know about.

You can use "on" to say whether or not an event, game, program, or TV show is happening:

  • The game is on.
  • The TV show is on.
  • Are we on for this weekend? (Are we doing something this weekend?)
  • Our meeting is on Sunday.

This word also has many idiomatic uses that you should know about:

  • Lunch is on me. (I’m paying for your lunch and mine.)
  • What is he on? (What kind of medication or drug is he using?)
  • What page are you on? (What’s the page number for the book that you are reading?)
  • I get tired of always being on at work. (be + on = a person is socially engaged, focused, charming, witty, etc. There’s a certain level of intensity implied by the use of the word "on" in this instance.)
  • Game on! (Okay, I accept your challenge.)
  • Go on. (Keep talking.)
  • Come on. (This could have many meanings: Are you telling me the truth? / Hurry up. / I’m not happy about the present situation.)
  • Try not to let on that you know about the surprise. (let on = to indicate one’s knowledge about something.)

You can find other pages on the website that explain how "on" is used. Click here to learn how "on" is used as a preposition. Click here to see some idioms that use "on."

Click here to go to the Word of the Day page.

December 28, 2011