Correct use of the place preposition “in” in a full sentence

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The place preposition “in” is used to describe something that’s inside of something else. For example, he is in the house. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that the man, “he,” is surrounded by (in) the house. 

Another example, the cat is in the hat. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that the cat is inside the hat. 

How to use the place preposition “in” in a full sentence

Simply put, “in” is used to describe an object that’s inside something else. Here are a few examples commonly used in English:

The cat is in the box.

The guitar is in the case. 

My chopstick is in the sink. 

She jogged in the park. 

Let’s look at the sentence “She jogged in the park.” Notice the use of noun, verb, the place preposition “in,” the definite article “the” and a final noun. The above pattern can be used to create sentences that correctly use the place preposition “in.” 

A syntax (word order) tree is included for a visual representation of the sentence.

A syntax (word order) tree is included for a visual representation of the sentence. 

Remember, English uses 150 prepositions, but, don’t let this fact frighten you, learning a few common preposition phrases, such as in, on, above, under, and besides will make you sound like a native English speaker.

Should I use the article “the” with the place preposition “in”

The definite article “the” is MOST OFTEN used after the place preposition “in.” Remember, “the” is placed before an object of known identity. And so, “the park,” from the previous example, is known to both the speaker and listener. 

Here is another example, the keys are in the car. In this sentence, “the car” is known. By saying this, you’re telling the listener that your keys are in your car (or the last car you were in). However, the keys aren’t in a car of unknown identity. 

Other uses of the preposition “in”

How to use the word colloquially

You may hear a native English speaker say “I’m in.” This DOES NOT mean that the speaker is surrounded by something. It means that they’re willing to participate in a previously mentioned activity. Here’s an example of dialogue: 

“Eric, do you want to go to the movie?”

“Yeah, I’m in.” 

Examples of the place preposition “in”

The teacher is in the faculty room.

Mikaela put the book in the box. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: What do you have in your bag?

Q2: Do you like putting things in your pocket? Why or why not?

Q3: Make your own sentence. 

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