Let’s talk about the difference between “into” (one word) and “in to” (two words).
Although we say these the same way, they have different meanings.
Into (one word)
“Into” usually answers the question, “Where?”
Although there are many definitions of “into“, the most common definitions are:
1. toward the inside; in the direction of
2. hitting or touching
- The fox crawls into a hole.
The fox crawls where? Into a hole.
- He looks into her eyes.
He looks where? Into her eyes.
- He drove his car into the tree.
He drove his car where? Into the tree.
- The bird flew into the window.
The bird flew where? Into the window.
“Into” can also mean to transform or change.
- The caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly.
- The little girl turned into a princess.
- He grew into a responsible adult.
In to (two words)
“In to” is actually two completely different words that sometimes fall next to each other in some sentences.
- I went in to use the telephone.
- The dog goes into get a drink.
- She reaches into get the mail.
- I called into remind him I am arriving today.
- They came in to get out of the heat.
Grab a pencil and paper and take this short quiz to check your understanding.
Then, scroll down to see the answers.
- She threw the paper _________ the trash can. [into/in to]
- I ran _________ the store to buy some milk. [into/in to]
- They moved the wedding _________ avoid the storm. [into/in to]
- The repair man came _________ fix the television. [into/in to]
- The girl turned _________ a beautiful princess. [into/in to]
- She threw the paper into the trash can.
- I ran into the store to buy some milk.
- They moved the wedding in to avoid the storm.
- The repair man came in to fix the television.
- The girl turned into a beautiful princess.