When to use the former and when to use the latter?


I went to the Internet and searched everything I could on animal behavior.

I went to the Internet and searched everything I could about animal behavior.


You can ...

search on some subject


search about something/one

What looked somewhat strange is "you went to the internet!'

Do you mean that you went to the cyber cafe?

Internet is not a physical shop here, so 'went to' in this context does not sound proper to me. Even if it's used, I'd go for a better option.

Common use is..

I searched everything about/on animal behavior on the Internet that I could.

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  • There are many "I went to the Internet" on Google Books, though: google.com.tw/… – alexchenco May 6 '15 at 8:56
  • 'Searched on the internet' is way more common than 'went to the internet'. My personal suggestion is don't use "I went to the Internet". It really looks strange! – Maulik V May 6 '15 at 10:17
  • People certainly do say "I went to the internet and searched for everything I could think of related to animal behavior", but it's a colloquialism. Some people even say things like "I asked the internet about animal behavior". I guess personification is a step beyond figuratively referring to the internet as a location :-) – snailplane May 6 '15 at 10:22

First, you can't use every this way. Every is an adjective, not a noun or pronoun.

I went to the Internet and searched everything I could about/on animal behavior.

I don't think there is much difference here, although I would say about is more precise.

If you look for "regarding" or "concerning" in the definitions of "about" and "on" you should be able to understand the relationship.

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  • This seems pretty much right. I think you're missing a 'for' before 'everything'. – DCShannon May 6 '15 at 1:51
  • Yeah, adding for would go a long way to fix this answer. It would also help not to say that every is an adjective, since it's usually a determiner. – snailplane May 6 '15 at 4:28

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