Grammar check – “into” and “in to” – are you into it?

Image: Pixabay

Are you sometimes unsure whether you’re using “into” and “in to” correctly? Well here’s a quick way to remember:

The word “into” is a preposition that describes movement or places you or an object inside somewhere. “Into” can also denote transformation, like a frog turning into a prince. You use it in sentences like these:

  • I drove my Hyundai into the garage.
  • I was accepted into USC on my own merit.
  • The tadpole changed into a frog.

“In” by itself can be an adverb, a preposition, an adjective or a noun. “To” by itself can be a preposition, an adverb or part of an infinitive. Sometimes the words “in” and “to” meet in a sentence. Here are some examples:

  • I stopped in to say hi to my mom. (“to” means “in order to”)
  • I logged in to my WordPress blog. (“Logged” and “in” belong together and “to” directs the action to WordPress.)
  • He turned in to the shopping center. (“Turned” and “in” belong together and “to” explains direction.)

But there are always the ones that seem to follow no rule:

  • I’m really into rap music. (You’re not really inside of the music and you haven’t exactly transformed yourself, right? I think I’d get this right, though.)
  • He turned in to the driveway. (That worked for me when he was going to the shopping center, but I’d probably get this wrong.)

It’s always good to refresh on grammar. You can get more detailed explanations of the “into” and “in to” rule on the following websites:

Writer’s Digest
Quick and Dirty Tips

Do you have any easy ways to remember this rule?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

19 thoughts on “Grammar check – “into” and “in to” – are you into it?

  1. I get them confused…. and do the ‘grammar checks’ on my computers that ALWAYS want me to use “into”. Regardless. No wonder I can’t keep it straight!

    1. Hi Chatter Master – I know – I think I use “into” most of the time, even when it’s wrong. When I looked up the rules, it made sense in the beginning, but then I got hung up on logging in to a website! Thanks for the visit and comment 🙂

  2. This is great! A lot of it can be done by “feel”, but it’s good to know actual rules. Same with on and to vs onto — this just came up for me in a work memo last week, and I had to defend my choice!

    1. Oh interesting – I couldn’t tell you that rule – maybe next week 😉 Thanks for reading and commenting, Lisa. Hope you’re on your way to a nice weekend!

  3. Hmmm, I thought I was using it correctly, but now I’m second guessing myself. I’ll be paying closer attention now – and will know where to come to check! Thanks!

  4. I sometimes struggle with this one, too. Thanks for the clarification! I still keep a grammar book handy for when I’m not able to remember the rules…

    1. I’m pretty sure I’ve written log into, or onto, for that matter. That one definitely threw me. As for turning in to a driveway, I think I’ll just avoid writing that. Thanks for stopping by, Jan. I always enjoy your comments! 🙂

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