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I was looking for some internet vocabulary and I found this sentence on the Oxford Thesaurus which sounds very inespecific as compared to words like browse or surf when it comes to internet vocabulary.

What exactly does "go on" mean in this context?

Could it be possible to say "she likes to go on YouTube in the evenings" in the exact same way as in the above example?

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    Please edit your question to tell us what part of that sentence is unclear to you. Do you mean you don't know what it means to be "on the Internet" as opposed to "on YouTube"?
    – gotube
    Aug 7, 2022 at 0:44
  • This may be from the Oxford Thesaurus, but I find in the evenings unnatural, unless we're already in a specified period of days or weeks. In the evening is more natural to my ear,
    – Colin Fine
    Aug 7, 2022 at 14:52

1 Answer 1

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When you're talking about electronic media, it's most common to use on (vs "in"). For example:

I read it on the Internet. (electronic media)

vs.

I read it in the newspaper. (printed media)

When you go on the Internet, it simply means you're going online, or accessing the global network of computers that we call the Internet. It doesn't imply anything about what you do when you go online, such as browse the World Wide Web.

I like to go on the Internet in the morning and read the news.

When you visit a website, you can say that you go on or go to that website. For example:

She likes to go on YouTube in the evening.

She likes to go to YouTube and watch videos.

While they are essentially interchangeable, there are some instances where one is favored over the other. For example, when you're giving a command or an instruction about where to navigate on the Internet, use go to. For example:

Go to YouTube and enter the phrase in the search box.

Go to eli.stackexchange.com and you'll find the answer to your question.

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  • Note that the World Wide Web is not 'the Internet'. Aug 7, 2022 at 7:03
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    Right. The Internet is the global network of computers. The World Wide Web are pages on those servers. I'll modify my answer. Aug 7, 2022 at 14:26

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