Posted by: episystechpubs | June 17, 2021

Editor’s Corner: Into or in to?

Is it into or in to? It’s been a while since we covered this topic, and it’s a tricky one for many. So today, I’ll refresh your memory on the rules and then, if you’re into it, you can take a quiz (courtesy of GrammarBook.com) to test your understanding.

Let’s start with the refresher. Intois a preposition that expresses movement toward something else; it can specify that something is going inside or within something else or becoming something else.

  • She jumped into the deep end of the pool.

Into can also suggest involvement:

  • She’s really into swimming.

In to, on the other hand,is an adverb/preposition combination. These two words sometimes just end up next to each other in a sentence.

  • She jumped in to find the ring that slipped off her finger.

I found this helpful trick at the Writer’s Digest website; and I think it will help you determine whether you want intoor in to:

One trick to help you decipher which word (or word pairing) is correct is to think of it this way: “Into” usually answers the question “where?” while “in to” is generally short for “in order to.” So look at your sentence and replace “into” or “in to” with “where?” If the second half of your sentence answers it, use “into.” If it doesn’t, replace “where” with “in order to.” If that works, use “in to.”

Using that trick and looking back at my first example, I see that intois correct because it answers the question “Where did she jump?” She jumped into the pool.

Looking at my second example, I see that I can easily replace in towith in order toand the sentence makes sense. She jumped in order to find the ring.

Now, I want to give you one final example of a mistake people often make. When you are talking about logging in, the correct form is log in to.

  • You will need to enter your user name and password to log in to the program.

Why? Because log in is a phrasal verb and the word to just happens to follow log in. Yeah, I know. English is a confusing language. It does kind of seem like you’re going into a website, so people get confused. Just remember that you are logging in (not logging into). You would tell a person, “You must log in.” You wouldn’t say, “You must log into.”

So, with those examples and the helpful trick in mind, it’s time to see how you do on the following quiz. After you answer all the questions, scroll down to see the answers. Good luck!

Into vs. In to Quiz

For each of the following, choose the correct sentence.

1. A. Aunt Jean is into collecting shells and found some unusual ones on the beach today.

B. Aunt Jean is in to collecting shells and found some unusual ones on the beach today.

2. A. Grandma really put a lot of time and effort into planning Grandpa’s surprise party.

B. Grandma really put a lot of time and effort in to planning Grandpa’s surprise party.

3. A. Make sure you log into the bank’s website to check your account today.

B. Make sure you log in to the bank’s website to check your account today.

4. A. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg and milk mixture and stir well.

B. Mix the dry ingredients in to the egg and milk mixture and stir well.

5. A. The stray kitten was anxious to come into get warm.

B. The stray kitten was anxious to come in to get warm.

6. A. You must turn all the forms into the human resources department by Friday.

B. You must turn all the forms in to the human resources department by Friday.

7. A. We are well into the month of January and have seen very little snow.

B. We are well in to the month of January and have seen very little snow.

8. A. The fawn disappeared quickly into the forest.

B. The fawn disappeared quickly in to the forest.

9. A. Bruno gave into the wishes of the group and agreed to go fishing.

B. Bruno gave in to the wishes of the group and agreed to go fishing.

10. A. The boys’ “magic egg” turned into a dinosaur after soaking in water.

B. The boys’ “magic egg” turned in to a dinosaur after soaking in water.

Following are the correct answers and the explanations:

1. A. Aunt Jean is into collecting shells and found some unusual ones on the beach today.

Explanation: use into suggesting involvement.

2. A. Grandma really put a lot of time and effort into planning Grandpa’s surprise party.

Explanation: use into suggesting involvement.

3. B. Make sure you log in to the bank’s website to check your account today.

Explanation: the phrasal verb is log in.

4. A. Mix the dry ingredients into the egg and milk mixture and stir well.

Explanation: use into indicating introduction, insert, or inclusion. [dbb – You are putting the dry ingredients inside or within the wet mixture.]

5. B. The stray kitten was anxious to come in to get warm.

Explanation: the phrasal verb is come in.

6. B. You must turn all the forms in to the human resources department by Friday.

Explanation: the phrasal verb is turn in.

7. A. We are well into the month of January and have seen very little snow.

Explanation: use into indicating a point within time or space. [dbb – We are inside or within the month of January.]

8. A. The fawn disappeared quickly into the forest.

Explanation: use into meaning toward or in the direction of. [dbb – The fawn went inside the forest.]

9. B. Bruno gave in to the wishes of the group and agreed to go fishing.

Explanation: the phrasal verb is give in.

10. A. The boys’ “magic egg” turned into a dinosaur after soaking in water.

Explanation: use into indicating the result of a transformation or change. [dbb – The magic egg is becoming (turning into) something else.]

Donna Bradley Burcher | Senior Technical Editor | Symitar®

8985 Balboa Ave. | San Diego, CA 92123 | Ph. 619.278.0432 | Ext: 765432

Pronouns she/her/hers

About Editor’s Corner

Editor’s Corner keeps your communication skills sharp by providing information on grammar, punctuation, JHA style, and all things English. As editors, we spend our days reading, researching, and revising other people’s writing. We love to spend a few extra minutes to share what we learn with you and keep it fun while we’re doing it.

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