Put that in/into the (rubbish) bin.

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
"Put that in the (rubbish) bin." - that is what a native said, giving an example of how to tell someone to put something in a rubbish bin/garbage can. Now, that command clearly involves some motion, so why not "into the bin"?
 

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  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Into' wouldn't be wrong, but we tend to say 'in'. It's just the way we say it.

    You yourself said it: "an example of how to tell someone to put something in a rubbish bin/garbage can."
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Into" would make sense if the action was what the speaker wanted to emphasise. However, usually the person saying this isn't at all interested in how the thing ends up in the rubbish bin, just that it gets there somehow, and that you (the subject of the imperative "put") are the person to do it.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    We tend to use "into" when it's necessary because of context and "in" if we can get away with it.

    I accidentally walked in the wall. :thumbsdown:
    I accidentally walked into the wall. :thumbsup:

    I jumped in the pool and started swimming. :thumbsup:
    I jumped into the pool and started swimming. :thumbsup:

    I climbed down into the hole.
    - I entered the hole.
    I climbed down in the hole. - Did you climb into the hole or were you in the hole and climbed down farther?
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I climbed down in the hole. - Did you climb into the hole or were you in the hole and climbed down farther?
    You climbed down further :)


    And what about a drawer or a wardrobe/closet? Do you put things 'into' or 'in' them? The context will be clear so 'in' is fine, right? Yet I can also say 'into' so as to emphasize the action of putting things in there, right?
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Put it into the bin causes me to picture someone placing the item carefully at the bottom of the bin. We typically just drop things into the bin without the need to get our hands into the bin at all.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I don't know what roofies are, so I can't be sure, but we usually put things like sugar, water, tonic, soda etc in drinks.
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    And again, I might say "into" to emphasize the action, right? For example: "Why did you put the lemon on the saucer? I asked you to put it into the drink, not beside it"
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    in (also inside/within) is a preposition of place, and into is a preposition of motion (it is the "to" that creates the effect = compare up to, and onto.)

    Where the context is clear, there is a tendency to use "in" for both, but compare:
    "He walked into the room" -> he entered the room
    "He walked in the room" -> he wandered inside the room.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Well, I'm glad I didn't know what roofies were. :eek: The use of which is not really something I want to discuss the 'correct' preposition for. :(
    Excuse me, it just crossed my mind as something that can be added in someone's drink.

    Where the context is clear, there is a tendency to use "in" for both, but compare:
    "He walked into the room" -> he entered the room
    "He walked in the room" -> he wandered inside the room.
    Ok, it is clear to me, but how about using 'into' as emphasis where 'in' would normally be used? For example:

    "Ugh, this is tea is undrinkable! How much sugar did you put into it?" Would that sound natural?
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    And do we also put things like keys in a pocket because the context is clear?

    A: Where are my keys?
    B: I saw you put them in the pocket.

    Doesn't 'into' work here at all?
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I looked through examples for 'in' meaning 'into' in dictionaries. Of course dictionaries don't explain when they are interchangeable. They explain nothing. I don't think any grammar book explains this issue. Thank God we have these forums. I do appreciate your input. Anyway, could you please look through these dictionary examples and tell me where both in/into work?

    1. He almost drowned when he fell in the river.
    2. Put the milk back in the fridge when you've finished with it.
    3. They threw him in the swimming pool.
    4. He dipped his brush in the paint.
    5. She got in her car and drove off.
    6. The door was open so I just walked in.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    And do we also put things like keys in a pocket because the context is clear?

    A: Where are my keys?
    B: I saw you put them in the pocket.

    Doesn't 'into' work here at all?
    This is a rather good example. Even though you saw the action, which might make you think that "into" is the correct preposition, the action itself isn't important in the context. What matters is where the keys are now.

    1. He almost drowned when he fell in the river.
    2. Put the milk back in the fridge when you've finished with it.
    3. They threw him in the swimming pool.
    4. He dipped his brush in the paint.
    5. She got in her car and drove off.
    6. The door was open so I just walked in.
    I will go through them in approximate order of decreasing certainty for "in":
    (6) can only ever be "in". "Into" always needs an object.
    In (2) the only thing that matters is that the milk ends up in the fridge, so "into" is not appropriate.
    In (3) the act of throwing does not really fit with "into". You usually throw things more or less up (okay, so here it might be sideways), but the "into" movement here would be downwards.
    In (5) there seems little reason to focus on the action, so "into" seems unlikely.
    In (1), the movement is in the right direction, and the movement clearly has some importance, so "into" is a distinct possibility. However, he would drown from being in the river rather than the falling motion, so I would still favour "in".
    In (4) the movement is a conscious one in the right direction, and I would say that "into" is at least as likely as "in".
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    In (3) the act of throwing does not really fit with "into". You usually throw things more or less up (okay, so here it might be sideways), but the "into" movement here would be downwards.
    And would both work here?
    "Children love sitting on the bank of a river and throwing stones in/into it."
    "Children love throwing stones in/into rivers.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    In both these contexts, I would use 'into'.

    In the second one, 'in' would make it ambiguous. It could mean that the children stand in the river when they throw stones.
     
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