I know that 'in' and 'on' is more static for example I'm in a car or it's on a table. Into and onto mean some movement for istance a man jumped onto a train. My question is sometimes I can hear put this cake in the oven or jump on a ramp when can I change in into on onto without meaking mistakes?

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    Put the cake into the oven and jump onto a ramp would both be fine too. People don't always add the '-to' when referring to movement. Jan 13 at 10:07

1 Answer 1


When it's "static", you can't use into/onto.

I'm in a car YES
I'm into a car NO

The plate is on a table YES
The plate is onto a table NO

When it's "dynamic" the situation is more complicated. Often you may use either in/into on/onto.

Consider this example:

He ran into the tunnel. YES
He ran in the tunnel. AMBIGUOUS. Does it mean "into"? Or simply "in"?

If "into" clarifies this distinction it should be used.

In cases where there is no confusion, you might prefer "in" because it's shorter and simpler.

Put the cake in the oven YES
Put the cake into the oven CORRECT (but perhaps overly correct. Since it obviously means "into".)

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