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On the topic of giving directions, I'm not sure whether I should suggest someone to "turn into the right lane / the driveway / Long Road" or "turn onto the right lane / the driveway / Long Road". The answers to this question seem to suggest that as you drive on the surfaces of roads, you should be turning onto them. But an example from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English says otherwise:

"She cycled up the street and turned into Long Road."

And so does a simple Google search. Notice there are instances of "turning left into either lane", "turning into a driveway", "turning left into a multi-lane road" among the results.

A user at forum.wordreference.com suggests that whether you drive in or on a road/path, it could depends on the particular types of roads wherein "the concept of an inside would be apparent".

Is that wordreference user right? If so, what exactly are the types of roads that give you such a concept of "an inside"? When do you turn into a road? When do you turn onto it?

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In AmE:

We turn onto a road.

We drive onto an off-ramp.

We move into the exit lane or move into the passing lane.

We turn into a driveway. If the driveway is on a slope, we can "pull up onto the driveway".

We leave the main road and turn into a lane (a small, often unpaved, country road) or turn into an alley or alleyway.

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  • What makes a driveway or a lane so different from a road or a ramp? Aren't you supposed to drive on them? What am I missing? – Vun-Hugh Vaw Feb 12 '17 at 16:39
  • Natural languages evolve over many centuries. Driveways and lanes have been perceived as ways of ingress and egress. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Feb 12 '17 at 17:20
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Thinking about giving directions

onto

usually seems to be used for named roads

Take the second left onto Interstate 35 south.
At the second, traffic light turn south onto Gameskeeper Road.

whereas

Drive down bout a mile and pull into the cul de sac.
He drove his car out of the parking lot and into Main Street traffic.

Loosely, either seem to be interchangeable. However, one would not "pull onto a cul de sac" since it is a surrounded area.

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