Into or In To | Difference, Examples & Quiz

Into and in to are pronounced the same, but they have different grammatical functions.

  • Into is a preposition used to indicate entry, insertion, collision, or transformation. It can also be used to say that someone is interested in or involved with something. Write ‘into’ as one word when you mean it in one of these senses.
  • In to is a combination of two separate words: the prepositions ‘in’ and ‘to’. The words should remain separate when the sense is separate. For example, in the phrase ‘call in to see you’, the phrasal verb ‘call in’ is separate from the infinitive verb phrase ‘to see you’
      Examples: Into in a sentence Examples: In to in a sentence
      Una turned her hobby into a business. She turned the report in to her boss.
      The principal stormed into the classroom.

      Amanda is really into stamp collecting.

      Everyone chipped in to pay for gas.

      My grandmother tunes in to the news at 6 p.m. every day.

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      How to use ‘into’

      Into is a preposition used to indicate that something is moving inside of (or colliding with) something else. It’s also used to refer to mathematical division.

      Examples: How to use into
      The protagonist snuck into the castle to warn the prince.

      George accidently ran into a wall.

      How many times does 4 go into 20?

      It can also be used to refer to a transformation or to indicate that someone is interested in something.

      Examples: Other uses of into
      Andy turned his attic into a home office.

      Sophie used to be really into skateboarding.

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      How to use ‘in to’

      In and to are two separate words. They can end up beside each other when ‘in’ is part of a phrasal verb and ‘to’ is part of an infinitive verb phrase. In these instances, it’s wrong to use ‘into’.

      Examples: How to use in to
      • Amir dropped into borrow a book.
      • Amir dropped in to borrow a book.
      • The thief broke into steal the gems.
      • The thief broke in to steal the gems.

      The choice sometimes has a major effect on your meaning, especially when similar phrasal verbs exist, some of which use ‘in’, while others use ‘into’.

      Examples: How to use in to
      The thief broke in to steal the gems [broke in, in order to steal the gems].

      She broke into a run [started running].

      Worksheet: In to vs into

      You can test your understanding of the difference between ‘in to’ and ‘into’ with the worksheet below. Fill in either ‘in to’ or ‘into’ in each sentence.

      1. Sarah put the oranges _______ the fruit bowl.
      2. Ann and Linda turned their house _______ a bed and breakfast.
      3. I let the electrician _______ install a new air conditioner.
      4. Farrah and Daniel are _______ filmmaking.
      5. You must log _______ submit your application.
      1. Sarah put the oranges into the fruit bowl.
        • ‘Into’ is a preposition used to indicate that something is entering something else.
      1. Ann and Linda turned their house into a bed and breakfast.
        • The phrase ‘turn into’ is used to indicate a transformation. It shouldn’t be confused with ‘turn in’, which has various meanings (e.g., to go to bed, to hand over, to produce) that are unrelated to transformation.
      1. I let the electrician in to install a new air conditioner.
        • ‘In’ and ‘to’ are two separate words. In this instance, ‘in’ is part of the phrasal verb ‘let in’ and ‘to’ is part of the infinitive verb phrase ‘to install a new air conditioner’.
      1. Farrah and Daniel are into filmmaking.
        • ‘Into’ is also used to indicate that someone is interested in something.
      1. You must log in to submit your application.
        • ‘In to’ is correct here. In this instance, ‘in’ is part of the phrasal verb ‘log in’ and ‘to’ is part of the infinitive verb phrase ‘to submit your application’.

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        If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.

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        Frequently asked questions

        Is it ‘log into’ or ‘log in to’?

        ‘Log in’ is a phrasal verb meaning ‘connect to an electronic device, system, or app’. The preposition ‘to’ is often used directly after the verb; ‘in’ and ‘to’ should be written as two separate words (e.g., ‘log in to the app to update privacy settings’).

        ‘Log into’ is sometimes used instead of ‘log in to’, but this is generally considered incorrect (as is ‘login to’).

        Is it ‘tune into’ or ‘tune in to’?

        ‘Tune in’ is a phrasal verb meaning ‘watch a TV show’ or ‘listen to a radio show’. The preposition ‘to’ is often comes immediately after this phrase; ‘in’ and ‘to’ should be written as separate words when this happens (e.g., ‘Tune in to the final episode next week’).

        ‘Tune into’ is sometimes used instead of ‘tune in to’, but this is generally considered incorrect.

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        Ryan, E. (2023, March 08). Into or In To | Difference, Examples & Quiz. Scribbr. Retrieved 22 February 2024, from https://www.scribbr.co.uk/frequently-confused-words/into-or-in-to/

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        Eoghan Ryan

        Eoghan has a lot of experience with theses and dissertations at bachelor's, MA, and PhD level. He has taught university English courses, helping students to improve their research and writing.