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  1. Banned
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    Turn To, Into

    I am exploring some usage issues of "change" sense of the verb "turn":

    1. Water could turn to/into ice.
    2. The magician turned the cat to/into a rabbit.

    I looked up dictionaries and it seems that "turn" should be used with "into" to be safe and that "to" could be used with "turn" for poetic effect. What do native speakers think?

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    Re: Turn To, Into

    We do not look up dictionaries. We look up words in dictionaries.

    You are right that "into" is the correct choice in your sample sentences. (Water turns into ice when the temperature gets cold enough. A magician might turn a cat into a rabbit. (Not really.))

    You might turn to somebody (for advice, for example).

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    Re: Turn To, Into

    not a teacher

    I agree that in the case of a change from one animal to another, "turn into" is correct.
    "The magician appeared to turn the cat into a rabbit".

    However, when it is a change of state or condition, then "turn to" is often correct and very common.
    The ice turned to water.
    Eventually the milk will turn to butter.
    In a relationship, love can sometimes turn to hate.
    Don't let your hope turn to despair.

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