Areas of Study


Right on! Ah, go on! Not on your life!

Noun phrases

A chip on your shoulder A come-on A play on words A price on my head

Adjective phrases

(to be) big on something (to be) dead on your feet (to be) quick on the trigger (to be) right on the money (to be) down on your luck

Verb phrases

(To) call on the carpet (To) climb on the bandwagon (To) get a fix on (To) go on record (To) have an edge on (To) have egg on your face (To) have glasses on (To) have on hand (To) knock on wood (To) land on your feet (To) lay it on the line (To) lay it on thick (To) lie down on the job (To) live on borrowed time Not (to) have a leg to stand on (To) pat on the back (To) pour oil on troubled waters (To) put on the dog (To) rest on your laurels (To) ride her on (To) set the world on fire (To) sit on the fence (To) stand on ceremony (To) stand on one’s own feet (To) step on one’s toes (To) take it on faith (To) think on one’s heels (To) walk on air

Prepositional phrases (literal and figurative)

On the desk On the bed On the lake On the chair On the lam On the wall On a lark On the blink

Two-part verbs

Act on Bank on Bent on Call on Carry on Cash in on Catch on Cheat on Come on Egg on Figure on Get on Go on Hand on Happen on Have on Hit on Hold on Pass on Pick on Plan on Put on Rock on Score on Sign on Take on Take off on Tell on

Specific surface

On the bike On the ceiling On the chair On the counter On a cushion On the edge On your feet On the floor On the rim On the seat On my skin On the glass On the ground On the head On the hook On the lawn On a log On the page On a slide On the spider On the tray On the paper

Recipient of attention or action

A slur on your reputation All eyes were on him. Sara depends on me. The drinks are on the house. The drinks are on me. The joke is on you.

Location – general or figurative

On a committee On a hill On a hunt On a limb On a mission On a pedestal On a picnic On a string On account On board On the playground On the phone On fire On tour On top of On TV On the air On the egg On the first floor On the holds On the front steps On the line On the road On the spot

Meaning “around”

The puppy had a ribbon on its neck. A bandana on his head A watch on his wrist

In close proximity to

A cottage on the ocean A villa on the Riviera A restaurant on the river We live on Maple Street.

Time (specific moment)

On the dot of 2:00 On time On the hour

Time frame

Later on On Sunday On the weekend On your break On a day like this On a winter’s day


On the bus On a horse On a plane On your own On foot On the elevator

In what manner

On a dime On the edge On the money On the brink Coming on On an even keel

Means or medium

(Cut myself) on a knife (Made money) on the deal (Live) on a shoestring On TV On my own

Reason or basis (answers why or how)

On a whim On a bet On good authority On account of On approval

State or condition (answers what)

On the blink On the fritz On the level On the nose On edge On call On my own The light is on.

Other uses

Degree or amount (answers how much) Ten cents on a dollar Made a quarter on every sale. Reduplication He suffered headache on headache. Continuance Off and on Off again, on again On it goes And so on Meaning about A book on bugs A book on snakes A lesson on prepositions A debate on nuclear war A magazine on health
*Source Unknown

Contact Us

Grammar and Vocabulary

JSAC 1225



(202) 448-7146

By submitting this form, I opt in to receive select information and deaf resources from Gallaudet University via email.
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.