1. summer8875 New Member

    I am a primary school English teacher in China. On this Friday one of my studens asked me how to distinguish the two prepositions "in" and "into".
    I find it difficult for me to tell the slight differences between them.
    What is the differece between these two words?
    Who can help me?
    Thank you!
  2. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    The difference is not slight.

    "Into" implies "from outside to inside" or "from one state to another".
    He ran into the kitchen: When he started running he was not in the kitchen, but he entered the kitchen running.

    I'm going to convert the bedroom into an office: From one state (bedroom) to another (office).

    Please translate this into Swahili: From one state (English) to another (Swahili).
  3. reganse Senior Member

    Houston, Texas
    English – U.S.
    Into means to "go inside" of something. i.e. Get into the house, right now!
    In is more "generic" or generalized. i.e. I like to walk in the rain.

    More examples:
    She is involved in a crime. (not into, in this context)
    I can't get in the door; it's locked. (not into, in this context) If you said, "I can't get into the door," it would mean that you were trying to get inside of the physical door itself.

    Many times you can use either preposition.
  4. summer8875 New Member


    thank you~~~:)
  5. summer8875 New Member


  6. sabretoof

    sabretoof Senior Member

    English - Australia
    I think that the idea is that into, onto and to means movement. On the other hand, in, on and at is about your current place.

    Some phrasal verbs do use in with movement, for example get in as mentioned by the previous poster, and also go in, but these are phrasal verbs and therefore can have their own idiomatic meaning, so don't necessarily follow the rules. In particular the go in go in already implies movement.

    Perhaps these will be helpful:


    That's for the physical world, but the same can apply to abstract concepts:

    I am in trouble. [current state]
    I am getting into trouble. [previously not in trouble, but the action is causing a "movement" towards being in trouble]
  7. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    I always explain that for "into", you need 2 conditions: 1) a verb of movement 2) a complement for the preposition. If one of these conditions is absent, use "in".
    He ran into the bathroom.
    He ran in.
    He is in the bathroom.
    This method works with all the examples I can think of, but perhaps someone can think of some exceptions.
  8. kwtf564 New Member

    Alguien me podía decir la diferencia entre estos ! en su terminación : "to" D; come in/ into - get in/into - go in/ into.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 30, 2013
  9. Cenzontle

    Cenzontle Senior Member

    English, U.S.
    "Into" está firmemente en la categoría de las preposiciones, y por eso necesita un término de preposición:
    "Go into the house"; "come into the light"; "get into the bathtub".
    "In" puede funcionar como adverbio (cuando es obvio en dónde se entra):
    "Go in" (delante de una casa); "come in" (voz dentro de la puerta en que acabamos de llamar); "get in" (al lado de un automóvil).
    Además, "in" puede sustituir a "into" como preposición de entrada en muchos casos: "go in the house", "get in the car".

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