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      • Native Language:
      • Russian
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      • Russian Federation
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      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Aug 2013
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    #1

    In vs. Into

    When we learn English as a foreign language we are taught that “in” can be both a preposition (as in I live in Moscow) and an adverbial particle (as in Come in, please). As a preposition is introduces a location, a position, but not a direction. If we deal with a movement, a direction, we say either “to” or “into”. It all seems to be quite clear until one faces a simple sentence like:

    He put the ticket in his pocket

    Why not “into his pocket”? Or “into” is equally possible here?

    Another tricky example is:

    She went into town

    Doesn’t it sound like she went “inside” the town? What would be the difference between going into town and just going to town?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
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    #2

    Re: In vs. Into

    Quote Originally Posted by shatilof View Post
    When we learn English as a foreign language we are taught that “in” can be both a preposition (as in I live in Moscow) and an adverbial particle (as in Come in, please). As a preposition is introduces a location, a position, but not a direction. If we deal with a movement, a direction, we say either “to” or “into”. It all seems to be quite clear until one faces a simple sentence like:

    He put the ticket in his pocket

    Why not “into his pocket”? Or is “into” equally possible here? Yes.

    Another tricky example is:

    She went into town. She went to town is equivalent and often heard in Ame.

    Doesn’t it sound like she went “inside” the town? No to me. What would be the difference between going into town and just going to town? None.

    Thank you in advance.
    Incidentally in can refer to a direction. The wind is in the north. In the west people are friendlier.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 07-Oct-2013 at 22:57. Reason: Fixing typo

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    #3

    Re: In vs. Into

    Quote Originally Posted by shatilof View Post
    When we learn English as a foreign language we are taught that “in” can be both a preposition (as in I live in Moscow) and an adverbial particle (as in Come in, please). As a preposition is introduces a location, a position, but not a direction. If we deal with a movement, a direction, we say either “to” or “into”. It all seems to be quite clear until one faces a simple sentence like:

    He put the ticket in his pocket

    Why not “into his pocket”? Or “into” is equally possible here?
    'Into' is more correct here, in my opinion.
    You shouldn't be too concerned when you see bad English or questionable English, or sentences that deviate a little from the 'rules' you've learnt.
    Not all native speakers have read the rules that ESL students are taught.

  3. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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      • American English
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      • United States
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      • United States

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 24,983
    #4

    Re: In vs. Into

    Quote Originally Posted by shatilof View Post
    When we learn English as a foreign language we are taught that “in” can be both a preposition (as in I live in Moscow) and an adverbial particle (as in Come in, please). As a preposition is introduces a location, a position, but not a direction. If we deal with a movement, a direction, we say either “to” or “into”. It all seems to be quite clear until one faces a simple sentence like:

    He put the ticket in his pocket

    Why not “into his pocket”? Or “into” is equally possible here?

    Another tricky example is:

    She went into town

    Doesn’t it sound like she went “inside” the town? What would be the difference between going into town and just going to town?

    Thank you in advance.
    I agree with Raymott that "into" his pocket is better, but "put in" has become so common it really cannot be considered incorrect.

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