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Should I write:

To gain insight on this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . .

or

To gain insight into this obstacle, she will begin to analyse . . .

Google shows (much) more results for "into" than for "on".

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4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Into is correct here. I don't think there's any other preposition that works, except perhaps to, though that's much less common. All of the Google results I see for insight of have it as part of a larger phrase, such as:

What is your biggest insight (into whatever) of this year?

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"Insight on" 4M5 hits in google "Insight in" 1.5M "Insight to" 3M "Insight for", 2M hits but is mainly used by a web site called "insight"

"insight into" 24M hits, so significantly more. It is true that linguists consider other words than "into" as "wrong'. If linguists consider it as an important fact, they should publish clear lists what it should be for all these cases.

However, none of the other words results in a misunderstanding of the meaning. If one considers the language as a communication means, there is no problem with none of them. One gets to the more fundamental problem if a language is rather a communication means, or an assembly of written and non written rules.

The same problem arises with: I like to get insight on/in/into that matter.

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Into is the correct preposition to use, but I think about can work also: “during his study, he gained a lot of insight about the inner workings of the administration”.

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I would use "insight into",

As a minor point, I feel that using insight with obstacle is like a mixed metaphor because, in order to climb over an obstacle I don't usually need to look inside it. I would prefer to pair some other word such as understanding with obstacle".

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protected by tchrist Aug 13 at 14:44

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