Learn English – In(to) a road/path or On(to) a road/path


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?

Best Answer

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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