tuck into

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
• He was tucking into a huge plateful of pasta. (OALD)
• They tucked into a hearty breakfast of eggs. (Longman dictionary)

Are the 'into' here prepositions or adverbs? I think it's the latter.
Thanks.
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I suppose you might call them prepositions rather than adverbs, but in fact they function as neither; they are instead an integral part of a phrasal verb.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    If it were me, it would read "He was tucking in to a huge plateful ...", and "They tucked in to a hearty breakfast...".
    For me, the phrasal verb is "tuck in" rather than "tuck into", though I expect there are lots of "tuck into" fans in this context.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If it were me, it would read "He was tucking in to a huge plateful ...", and "They tucked in to a hearty breakfast...".
    For me, the phrasal verb is "tuck in" rather than "tuck into", though I expect there are lots of "tuck into" fans in this context.
    Well, dictionaries give either "tuck into something" or "tuck in" (intransitive), in this meaning.

    So then we have: "tuck in" means that food goes into you. "Tuck into" means that you "go" into food. Is that what it means?...
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    The definitions are for "tuck in", with "tuck into" given as an alternative. They seem to have forgotten that "Tuck in" can be used intransitively, whereas "tuck into" cannot.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    She put the plates in front of them and they tucked in. (Began to eat)

    "There you are", she said. "Don't wait for the others, tuck in!" (Go ahead, eat!)

    So they tucked into the steaming steak and kidney pie. (They ate the food)
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Actually, I know, of course, what "tuck into" means. As dictionaries say:
    "to eat food with enthusiasm because you like it or because you are hungry"
    I just wanted to know specifically the meaning of "into" here.
    (They ate the food)
    I don't understand what you mean by that pale color, sorry.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Do you understand the combination to look into something (e.g. She looked into the problem)?
    If you do, why would you want to know what into means here?

    As soon as they arrived, the hungry children tucked into the meal.
    I'll get onto it straightaway.
    (perhaps on to is better)
    She'll get over the death of her husband in time.

    It makes no sense to me to ask what the underlined particles mean since these phrases are idioms.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Yes, I understand 'look into something' as to figuratively be in it. Or when you "run into something" you're moving towards it like you're going to figuratively be in it.
    And if "tuck into (a meal)" acts the same way, then "in" and "into" in "tuck in" and "tuck into" act quite differently, because 'tuck in' implies that meal is going to be inside you.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    No, when you tell someone to "tuck in" it's a bit like telling them to attack the food: get in there and eat!
     

    Rain_UK

    Senior Member
    Italian
    Despite all the answers I have read here, I do think that the phrasal verb is tuck in.
    Anyway, the two forms are equally accepted.

    You can see it in the Macmillian Dictionary here
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/tuck-in
    http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/tuck-into

    You can see it here, as well
    http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/tuck-in-or-into?q=tuck+in
    It gives you the first phrasal verb as tuck in but in parenthesis into, as well.

    To me, I would say tuck in to.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    So would you also "Go in to a room" Rain? When I say "He tucked into the food" I find impossible to make even the slightest pause between "in" and "to". If the phrasal verb in that sentence were "tuck in" I think it should be p[ossible to pause slightly between the two prepositions, as with "He went in to great applause."
     

    Rain_UK

    Senior Member
    Italian
    So would you also "Go in to a room" Rain? When I say "He tucked into the food" I find impossible to make even the slightest pause between "in" and "to". If the phrasal verb in that sentence were "tuck in" I think it should be p[ossible to pause slightly between the two prepositions, as with "He went in to great applause."
    You are right, velisarius.
    It is either tuck in or tuck into.

    The former is considered as intransitive.
    You go to bed, and I will come and tuck you in.

    The latter is considered as transitive.
    I tucked him into bed.
    It can NOT be used as intransitive as follows
    You go to bed, and I will come and tuck you into.:cross:
     

    ain'ttranslationfun?

    Senior Member
    US English
    Hi, vik, Your original question was answered by Mahantongo in # 2: "into" is an integral part of the transitive phrasal (or 'multi-word') verb, 'to tuck into (food)'.
     
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