michael
To be on -- meanings? What meanings may "to be on" have when applied to people? I've encountered a sentence "Luckily you are on to them and won’t let this happen to you". From the context, I can guess that it means "you expect them to act this way and won't let them fool you". Did I get it right? What else meanings may this phrase have?
Nov 13, 2019 4:49 PM
Answers · 7
Generally speaking, "to be *on to* something/someone" means that you have the right idea about something or someone. So yes, in the context of a person, because you have the right idea about that person, you can anticipate what that person will do or how that person will behave. You can use it for situations where you are theorizing, and the person thinks that what you've said makes sense. "To be *on* something" is different (no "to"). That suggests that the person is under the influence of drugs or some other mind-altering substance. There is also "to be on/off one's game", which suggests that everything is going very well/badly for that person at that given moment. It usually applies to sports or games, but it can also apply to situations where someone says or does several things correctly or incorrectly in succession.
November 13, 2019
You got it. The expression is “to be on to someone” . They are trying to deceive you but you are aware of that. A wife who learns her husband is having an affair could tell him “I’m on to you” My Mom’s on to us. She knows we’re not getting together to study.
November 13, 2019
You got it right.
November 13, 2019
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michael
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English