dumped into the ocean vs. deposited in the ocean

cfu507

Senior Member
Hebrew
dumped into the sea vs. deposited in the sea

Is there any reason why the first verb comes with "into" and the latter comes with "in"? Is it an idiom I should remember and that's all?
 
  • Steubler

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Actually, "into" is correct in both cases. I would say "deposited into the sea". These days, people do not make much of a distinction between "in" and "into" most of the time. The word "in" is used more for indicating a status, for example, "The garbage is in the sea." You would never say "the garbage is into the sea." On the other hand, if you are describing the change of location of the garbage from being out of the sea to being in the sea, you use "into": "The garbage was dumped (or deposited) into the sea." However, people use "in" in this case equally often, I would say. Here are some additional examples: "I went into the store." "My friend is already in the store." "My book is lying on the floor." "I lay my book onto the floor."
     

    JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, English
    I would use "in" in both cases. There is some idiom involved, and perhaps also some U.S. regionalism. I would not say 'deposited "into" the sea.'
     

    Lora44

    Senior Member
    England, English
    Without knowing what is technically correct in terms of grammatical rules, I'd agree with Steubler that into/in can be used correctly with both.

    I'd probably be more likely to say 'deposited into the ocean' and 'dumped in the ocean', but only simply because 'deposited' seems more formal than 'dumped'.
     

    nichec

    Senior Member
    Chinese(Taiwan)
    Now I'm very confused

    I would use "in" in both cases.

    Don't be confused, because we are all confused when it comes to "into/in" :D Sometimes it's rather a personal preference than grammatical correctness.
     

    Steubler

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Now I'm very confused

    I think that if you ponder the logic that I presented in post number 2, the reasoning behind using "into" as opposed to "in" will become clear. However, as I have said, this distinction is not taken very seriously in the English language and often is used only for emphasis. There is a similar phenomenon in the German language, in which there is a distinction between the dative and accusative case for the object of a proposition (in the case of those that allow this distinction, as does "in"). I can illustrate this further if you wish.

    I hope this helps you. Usually people's use of language is governed by their ear without regard to the logical structure of an idea and its relation to the words that should be used technically. What I've tried to do is to clarify the fundamental distinction between the structural roles of "in" and "into". Having said that, I also point out that there are some idiomatic expressions that deviate from this rule.

    In any case, you will do perfectly well using either "in" or "into" in either of the sentences you proposed, and you don't need to be worried about it. You will sound correct either way!
     

    JeffJo

    Senior Member
    USA
    USA, English
    The word "into" is best avoided, except where meaning demands it. Generally, use "in," if "in" is all that's meant.

    However:

    'She turned in a burglar.'

    'She turned into a burglar.'

    Sometimes it makes a difference.

    'She went into the house' means she both went within the house, and also she went toward the house. "In-" means 'within,' and "-to" means 'toward,' or 'up to.' The latter is too obvious to mention. Since she went within the house, she obviously went toward it.
     
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