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Recently I was watching the Jeeves and Wooster series, when one little but strange thing in a dialogue caught my attention:

Wooster: Just one thing. Where do I sleep?
Jeeves: In here, sir.

Why does he use the preposition in here? I must confess I haven't heard that before. Is this a mistake or grammatical? It's very unlikely that such a person as Stephen Fry or his character Jeeves would break the rules of English.

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Can you provide more context? Is Jeeves pointing into a bedroom when he says this? –  cornbread ninja 麵包忍者 Aug 1 '12 at 1:21
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Yes, here must refer to a room of some sort and he's got to be indicating it by either pointing, leading, or simply by where they are standing at the time. –  Jim Aug 1 '12 at 1:28
    
Indeed he points into the bedroom intending to enter the room. –  Denis Aug 1 '12 at 1:31
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It would have been wrong to point somewhere and say here, since you were not there. If you point somewhere, you would have to say over there. Or in here, beckoning. –  tchrist Aug 1 '12 at 1:53
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Denis, much of the context provided in coleopterist's answer is necessary for answering the question; your question might have attracted up-votes instead of close-votes if you'd provided some of that context – at least the facts they were in a cabin on a liner, and Jeeves has just opened bedroom door when saying "In here". –  jwpat7 Aug 1 '12 at 17:10
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3 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

From memory, the quoted conversation takes place right at the beginning of the episode, "Bertie sets sail", in the following setting:

Wooster is escaping to New York (in a bid to avoid getting married) aboard a passenger liner. It appears to be the first time that he's been on one of these newfangled floating hotels. Jeeves leads him to his suite which, at first glance, looks to be something along the lines of a small, comfortable parlour. Wooster looks around with great interest as he was probably expecting a well appointed, but cramped, cabin with a bunk bed or two. He is suitably impressed and informs Jeeves that he is suitably impressed. As he is doing so, he notices that there are no beds anywhere, bunk or not, which is when the OP's excerpted dialogue takes place.

(Wooster): Just one thing. Where do I sleep?

Jeeves moves to the other end of the suite and, with a quiet flourish, opens a door leading to a whole 'nother room altogether - a warm, cosy, comfortable bedroom.

(Jeeves): In here, sir.

Wooster is astonished and enters the new room with an "I say" or two.

In other words, Jeeves is indicating that his master will be sleeping inside here where here is the room that he has just opened. If he was simply indicating a bed, he would have just said, "Here, sir". Depending on the location of the sleeping quarters, he could have also said, "Up/Down/Out here, sir".

He could have also dropped the "In/Up/Down/Out" and just said "Here, sir", but, the preposition would have been implicit either through his physical location or an indicative gesture.

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If the place being referenced by "here" is a space which can be entered, it is correct to use the word "in".

Excluding "in" is also acceptable, but removes the suggestion that "here" is enterable.

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In English, one sleeps, eats, reads, etc. "in" a room. For example, one can speak of being "in the bedroom." Thus, when answering where someone (in this case, Jeeves) indicates the place in which someone would sleep, it would be referred to as "in here," not simply "here." This is not the same as other languages (German, French, Spanish), where the use of "here" alone (without the preposition "in") would be more common.

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