What's the difference between 'about' and 'on' like in the phrases 'the information about something' and 'the information on something'?

Which is grammatical: "it provides information on something", or, "it provides information of something", or, "it provides information about something"? Or if all are grammatical, which one is used depending on the context? Are there other prepositions possible, e.g. "in"?


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First, let"s take care of that pesky of.

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The documents contain information of great importance.

The intercepted information was of little merit.

This doesn"t speak about the subject, the actual nội dung of the information but about the information itself: "of questionable value", "of no interest khổng lồ me", "of utmost urgency". This is a rather formal, official khung. Normally you"d say "important information" or "urgent information", but the of size is a wmillionarthur.mobi-accepted formal phrasing.

You might try to use it to indicate owner of the information, but that"s really awkward. "The disk contains information of Sony on their newest mp3 player" - but I don"t think you"d ever encounter it in real life. "From" or "By" will be much more natural.

Now, the subtle difference between "on" and "about". They are practically identical, with only subtle differences in rare cases. While "on" will be always information directly "on" the subject - the direct data like name, own properties, things relating directly, "about" can relate indirectly.

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I have sầu new (or, a new piece of) information about Mary: Her boyfriover was yesterday at her flat at 8PM và there was no one there, lights off, door locked, no car.

You wouldn"t say information on Mary in the above example. That"s indirect information, a hint, something that tmillionarthur.mobis us she wasn"t there then, but doesn"t tmillionarthur.mobi us anything directly. It sheds some light but it doesn"t relate to lớn her directly. Still, in a great many cases you can use the two interchangeably.

There"s one more case when you use strictly on: Dirt. Tools of blackmail. Proofs against given person in an investigation. Compromising information.

Finally, we got some compromising information on Fisher. He called a drug dealer yesterday, and we have sầu the gọi recording implying he wants lớn buy some drugs.

As for others...

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"in"/"at" - standard locations, where the information was found. "on" can be used that way too - "I found it on the Internet!"

There"s one more word that often goes with information: regarding. This is the formal counterpart khổng lồ on/about, which goes in pair with of & is about the nội dung of the information.