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Internet, Net (Linguistic recommendation from the Translation Bureau)

[The same content is available in French in the article INTERNET/NET (RECOMMANDATION LINGUISTIQUE DU BUREAU DE LA TRADUCTION).]

To standardize the use of Internet and its short form Net in the federal public service, the Translation Bureau makes the following recommendation.

Internet and Net in English

Upper case

Internet is normally capitalized; the short form Net may be capitalized or written in lower case:

  • make money surfing the Internet (or the Net/net)
  • an Internet-based (or a Net-based/net-based) company
  • an Internet (or a Net/net) address

Net is not capitalized when it forms part of a compound written as one word:

  • tips about netiquette

Article

Internet and Net are preceded by the article the when they stand alone:

  • search the Internet (or the Net/net)

Preposition

Internet and Net are preceded by the preposition on:

  • find great travel deals on the Internet (or on the Net/net)

Internet and Net in French

Upper case

Internet and Net are capitalized when

  • they stand alone:
    • être un utilisateur d’Internet (or du Net)
  • they modify a noun:
    • trouver le bon site Internet

However, it is becoming increasingly common to see internet without a capital and preceded by the definite article:

  • Demeurer totalement anonyme sur l’internet n’est plus possible aujourd’hui.

Lower case

Internet and Net are not capitalized when

  • they form part of a compound written as one word:
    • être internetisé
  • they form part of a hyphenated compound:
    • s’intéresser à la net-économie

Agreement

When used as modifiers, Internet and Net do not agree with the nouns they follow:

  • une adresse Internet
  • des sites Internet

Article

Usually, Internet is not preceded by an article:

  • faire une recherche sur Internet (not sur l’Internet)
  • Il a trouvé ce renseignement dans Internet. (not dans l’Internet)

However, it is becoming common to see the article l’ used before Internet, especially when it is written in lower case:

  • L’Internet a révolutionné le monde des communications comme rien d’autre auparavant.
  • L’internet est une mine d’or.

Net is preceded by the article le:

  • trouver des images sur le Net

Preposition

Internet and Net are preceded by the preposition sur or dans:

  • naviguer sur/dans Internet
  • chercher sur/dans Internet
  • consulter un site sur le Net

Additional information

For more information on Internet, see