Into Vs. In To: What’s The Difference?

Grammar can be a confusing concept to grasp. There are just so many rules to remember!

One of the main grammatical mistakes that people make is getting “into” and “in to” mixed up. So if you are one of the people who gets these phrases mixed up, you may find it reassuring to learn that this is a common issue.

Luckily, this straightforward guide will help you to better understand the difference between them.

Into Vs. In To What’s The Difference

Into Vs In To


This word is used to describe where somebody or something is going e.g. he walked into a lamppost.

Into is a preposition. This means that it expresses a relationship between words, namely words in the same sentence or clause.

Specifically, into is used to indicate a location, namely moving toward something. It’s used to describe something or somebody being placed inside an alternative location or object.

However, it can also be used to convey a change or transformation e.g. the soccer match turned into a crazy brawl. Similarly, the word “into” is also used to describe the consequence of an event.

In To

The meaning of the words “in to” will depend on the context in which they are used. Namely, this will depend on the verb that appears before these words. “In to” can be used in a wide variety of sentences with different meanings.

The best way of determining whether or not you should use “in to” is to try and use “in order to” instead. If “in order to” makes sense in the sentence, then so will “in to”

Unlike “into”, these are two separate words. They are commonly used as either prepositions or adverbs. In some cases, the word “in” can be an adjective, but this occasion is so rare that it is not important to remember.

These two different words are often used together in sentences. When used next to one another, you may assume that they need to be joined together to form the word “into”. But the truth is that you should resist this urge if this is not the correct use of the word.

The Differences

One of the key differences between “into” and “in to” is that the former is one word while the latter is two words. This difference may seem obvious, but it is nonetheless an important distinction because it indicates that they have different meanings.

“Into” has a more specific meaning, often referring to the movement toward a location or a transformation. However, “in to” is more versatile since its meaning will change depending on how it is utilized in a sentence.

Phrasal Verbs

Phrasal Verbs

Now that you understand what separates “into” and “in to”, you should be aware that this difference becomes even more confusing when phrasal verbs are used.

What are phrasal verbs? Well, these verbs are very similar to multi-word verbs in that they are made up of more than one word to create a verb. These phrasal verbs often contain adverbs or prepositions to alter their meanings. A verb is an essential part of a clause that describes an action.

For instance, the phrase break down is a phrasal verb. This phrase has a very different meaning from the word “break”, which is often used to mean something that has been damaged or interrupted.

You might be wondering what this has to do with the terms “into” and “in to.” The reason why we have brought this up is that many phrasal verbs contain the word “in”, which can lead to further confusion. Examples of these phrasal verbs include:

  • Drop in
  • Log in
  • Break in
  • Join in
  • Chime in

Whenever a phrasal verb contains the word “in”, you must never use the phrase “into”. This is because adding “into” to the sentence would entirely alter its meaning. To help you understand what we mean, here are some examples:

  • Wrong: Please call into say “you’re welcome”.
  • Right: Please can in to say “you’re welcome”.

The reason why the second example is the correct one is that it expresses the meaning of the sentence. Specifically, it encourages someone to drop by. This is not transformative, nor does it refer to movement to a location so “into” should not be used.

To contribute even further to this confusion, the word “into” can also be used in some phrasal verbs. Fewer phrasal verbs contain “into” than “in.” These examples include:

  • Look into
  • Run into
  • Break into

In these circumstances, the phrasal verb must always contain “into” instead of “in to.” Frustratingly, some of these phrasal verbs are remarkably similar, though they will have different meanings. Thus, they should be used in different contexts.

“Break into” and “break in” are excellent examples of this conundrum. The difference here is that “break in” is a more general term, while “break into” will refer to a thief who is infiltrating a specific location. For instance, it could be used in the sentence:

The robber plans to break into the house.

Though phrasal verbs can be a little intimidating, it can become easier to understand how to use them through extensive practice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It “Give Into” Or “Give In To”?

In most cases, the correct answer is “give in to”. The term “give into” refers to the act of submitting or yielding to something. Therefore, it has nothing to do with location or transformation.

What Does “Fall Into” Mean?

The phrasal verb “fall into” has two primary meanings. The first is that it is used to describe somebody or something changing into a specific position. For example: she fell into a lengthy depression.

Alternatively, it is used to show an accidental action. For instance: he fell into the pool.

Final Thoughts

Grammar can be difficult to understand. But the truth is that it’s important to learn grammatical rules. Otherwise, your writing can be littered with errors that will undermine your meaning.

Hopefully, this guide will help you to remember the differences between “into” and “in to” so that you never have to be confused again!

🔵 Into or In To - The Difference between In To and Into - Prepositions and Adverbs

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