Preposition: She walked <in, into> the living room.

jjshell

Member
France - French
Hello,

Could you cinfirm that I am not mistaking the meaning of the prepositions in the following sentences:

1. "She walked in the living room"
does not necessarily mean that she enters the room, she could be pacing around inside of the living room, or just moving from one point to the other inside of the room. Correct?
Question: could we use the preposition "in" to mean that she enters the room?

2. "She walked into the living room"
implies that she enters the room, that she walks in through the door (granted that there's a door, of course). Correct?

:)
 
  • Joobs

    Banned
    Glasgow, Scotland - English
    Hello,

    Could you cinfirm that I am not mistaking the meaning of the prepositions in the following sentences:

    1. "She walked in the living room"
    does not necessarily mean that she enters the room, she could be pacing around inside of the living room, or just moving from one point to the other inside of the room. Correct?
    "In" does not convey the meaning "she enters the room" it would be into.

    Walking within the room would use "around", as in:

    "She walked around the living room"
    Question: could we use the preposition "in" to mean that she enters the room?

    2. "She walked into the living room"
    implies that she enters the room, that she walks in through the door (granted that there's a door, of course). Correct?
    Yes - How she gets in is immaterial. Obviously she has done so, therefore we assume there was a way.

    :)
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    ... she walked in the room ...

    I agree with Joobs - for entering the room, I would use into; for walking inside the room I wouldn't use in, I'd think of something else - like around.

    But a haunting memory from the sixties made me look for the lyrics:
    When you walk in the room
    ... where it is clear that in is being used in place of into.

    So I went off to see if this is often used, or was it just The Searchers doing the usual lyric trick of mangling words to fit the rhythm. It's not used as often as walked into the room, but it's certainly used with that meaning.

    So if you hear walked in the room, it's probably safe to assume it means walked into the room - but it's also probably best to avoid using it :)

    (The OED lists in=into at definition #31 - but there are no examples less than 200 years old.)
     

    Joobs

    Banned
    Glasgow, Scotland - English
    ... she walked in the room ...

    I agree with Joobs - for entering the room, I would use into; for walking inside the room I wouldn't use in, I'd think of something else - like around.

    (The OED lists in=into at definition #31 - but there are no examples less than 200 years old.)
    I agree with you here. Technically "in" could be used instead of "into" but it is very uncommon and rather frowned upon nowadays. The only time it is used is when "in" sounds/reads better than "into". And that isn't often.
     

    The Slippery Slide

    Senior Member
    Britain
    Panjandrum is right. People do often say "walk in the room" to mean entering. It is certainly common in Britain, and my American friends also say it. Maybe it's not used everywhere, though.

    People just trust that context will make clear what they mean.

    However, if we were talking about someone just pacing around inside the room, it is very unlikely that we would say "walking in the room". Partly because of the possible ambiguity, and partly because it's easier to say "walking around the room". "Walking in . . ." is used when walking is the main activity, such as "walking in the hills". It is very unlikely that a person would be doing this kind of activity in a room, taking a tour of the armchairs and stopping for a picnic.
     

    Joobs

    Banned
    Glasgow, Scotland - English
    An example of when "in" can be used as substitution for "into":

    "Plane crashes in reservoir" (As a headline in a paper for instance).
     

    hy003002

    Member
    Alexandria, Egypt. Arabic
    Hello panjandrum,
    I once read that, in such sentences, 'in' and 'on' are static, while 'into' and 'onto' are dynamic.

    The pen is on the desk.
    Put your pen onto the desk.

    How far is it correct?
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm not sure that dynamic and static are quite right.

    But you are right in expecting into and onto to reflect two different locations.

    Movement in, or on X is restricted to X.

    Movement into, or onto X presumes that there is another place, Y, from which we are moving to X.
     
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