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How would you understand this example?

I actually belong in his world.

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closed as general reference by FumbleFingers, J.R., Barrie England, kiamlaluno, Daniel Jun 27 '12 at 23:02

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

    
I'd think that maybe she has a train to catch? –  J.R. Jun 19 '12 at 17:10
2  
General Reference: "I belong in London" means "I am naturally suited to London, and it's best I should be there". If you belong to something/someone, you're owned, and must perforce do whatever something/someone dictates. –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '12 at 17:11
    
mycobuild.com/free-search.aspx –  Alex B. Jun 19 '12 at 17:16

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

"Belong(s) to" is used to express the actual origin/relation of someone/something.

"Belong(s) in" is used to express that someone/something fits better in {......}, but in reality he/it is not from {......}.

Example: He belongs in the National football team with his speed and aggression but at present, he belongs to the struggling local team.

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Although I think it's General Reference and should be closed anyway, +1 for being short & to the point, with a really slick example! –  FumbleFingers Jun 19 '12 at 21:00
    
Indeed, it is fairly generic. Preposition questions, though, are very important. FumbleFingers has a good point about the conciseness, as well, as mine turned out to read like some saga, in addition to being loaded with speculation. –  shinyspoongod Jun 19 '12 at 21:05
    
Thank you for the up-vote and compliment. I explained the point in a very simple manner, I'm glad that it explains the point clearly. –  Fr0zenFyr Jun 20 '12 at 2:30

To me the phrase "I belong in this world" most likely fits with someone who was disillusioned with the way things were going, and is somehow finding a way to get on their feet again. Something like, "This place really is home" or "If I have to work here I may as well identify with something of the place" It may well describe that the person no longer feels out of place, or out of touch, with the surrounding environment. I hope you don't mind that this is quite a speculative interpretation.

The general meaning is essentially as @Fr0zenFyr described it, in that belonging to something is already having the bonds to it, and belonging in something is having a purpose or destiny in that environment, whether that be a team or workplace, or whatever else.

Another example: "He belongs to the local militia, but with his training he belongs in the national army." would be a way of stating that his membership in the local militia is existent, but that he should leave and go the national army.

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