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Is it correct to say "I'll reach there in about 5 minutes?" Is "in about" correct in this sentence?

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Native speakers are more likely to say: "I'll get there ... " or "I'll be there ... " than "I'll reach there ... ". – Shoe Mar 31 '13 at 10:21
@Shoe +1 That's right, and you beat me to it! – John M. Landsberg Mar 31 '13 at 10:40
Take out "about" and you get "I'll reach there in 5 minutes". Perfectly correct (though, as stated elsewhere, "I'll get there ..." or "I'll be there ..." would be more idiomatic). Add "about" to indicate that the 5 minutes is approximate. Still perfectly correct. – Hot Licks Jul 17 '15 at 12:45

This is perfectly fine. I suspect you might be confused because you are seeing "in about" as a linkage of two contradictory prepositions, meaning something like "inside outside." But those aren't the meanings here. See it this way instead: "in" is used to indicate a period of time ("5 minutes"), and "about" in this case means "approximately." So the sentence is, "The period of time it will take me to reach there will be approximately 5 minutes."

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Yes, about modifies five minutes and is a quantifier modifier here rather than a preposition. Good sleuthing, John - I hadn't thought of the 'contradictory prepositions' false trail. – Edwin Ashworth Mar 31 '13 at 15:35
Yes, the intended parse is the normal right-branching [in [about [five minutes]]], rather than the much less common structure [[in about] [five minutes]]. The most important thing in grammar is to recognize Constituents, because grammatical rules apply only to constituents. – John Lawler Mar 31 '13 at 17:34
@EdwinAshworth Thanks, Edwin!I appreciate the compliment. – John M. Landsberg Apr 1 '13 at 2:05
@JohnLawler Thanks, John. I have to say, I am genuinely delighted to have assent from you at any time, because your knowledge of this field is astounding and fascinating. – John M. Landsberg Apr 1 '13 at 2:06

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