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    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    #1

    Empty contents

    Can I say these sentences:

    Empty the contents of the can into the skillet.
    Empty the contents of the can in the skillet.

    I'm not sure which perposition to choose.

    Thank you in advance.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Empty contents

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLearningEnglish View Post
    Can I say these sentences:

    Empty the contents of the can into the skillet.
    Empty the contents of the can in the skillet.

    I'm not sure which preposition to choose.

    Thank you in advance.
    Which one would you choose and why? Make an attempt yourself and then we can comment.


    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 10
    #3

    Re: Empty contents

    I would choose "into" because it shows directionality and in this case we need to show the direction in which the contents of the can will go (into the skillet)
    But I've seen a similar sentence only with "in", and that got me confused.


    • Join Date: Sep 2010
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    #4

    Re: Empty contents

    'In' is a preposition of place.

    'Into' is a preposition of direction.

    Therefore, 'into' is correct because the contents of the can are moving into the frying pan.

    There is some beer in my glass.
    I am pouring some beer into my glass.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Empty contents

    Quote Originally Posted by JustLearningEnglish View Post
    I would choose "into" because it shows directionality and in this case we need to show the direction in which the contents of the can will go (into the skillet)
    But I've seen a similar sentence only with "in", and that got me confused.
    Yes, you're absolutely right. "Into" is the correct preposition here.

    With the second choice you quoted, there is also another problem:

    "Empty the contents of the can in the skillet."

    If you break the sentence after the word "of", then it suggests that the can is actually standing in the skillet! If that were the case, you would need to add to the end of the sentence, to explain what you wanted the contents emptied into.

    Empty the contents of the can in the skillet into the saucepan please.

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