Why do two adverbs follow come in the phrase, come on in? I know come in, come on, go away, but when I hear "Come on in" in American movies, I can't figure out its grammatical structure.

  • I've always interpreted it to be a subtler forth, forward: i.e. the same as the on in he continued on and so on and so forth. – Anonym May 17 '14 at 14:47

Come on in is the longer version of come in. It's an idiom as mentioned by WS2, which means proper meaning cannot be deduced from individual words. Here's the full description of this particular idiom:

Come (on) in. and come on in(to) something Enter.; Come into this place. (A polite invitation to enter someone's home, office, room, etc. It is more emphatic with on.) Bob: Hello, you guys. Come on in. We're just about to start dinner. Bill: Come in. Nice to see you. Mary: I hope we're not too early. Bill: Not at all. Come on into the house and have a cold drink.

  • Nice definition! Have an upvote. – M.N May 17 '14 at 11:00

I would see it as a contraction of "come on + come in". Somehow the "Come on in" has the effect of an invitation a bit more friendly and encouraging than the short "Come in". Maybe "Come in" can evoke memories of the time one did military service.

  • 2
    I think that's dead on. Come on -- which is common enough to have an eye spelling c'mon -- and come in are both frequent idioms, often appearing in exhortations and politeness formulas. Come already participates in thousands of idioms, and many of them carry over with both come on and come in; the conflation combines the chumminess of c'mon with the invitation to enter of come in. In both the effect is to disarm the bare imperative. – John Lawler May 17 '14 at 16:32

It is a well-known idiom, perhaps more used by Americans than in Britain, in which someone is enthusiastically welcomed into the home, or some other place.

'Come on in'.

  • No explanation is provided, when we say it is an "idiom". – Louis Liu May 18 '14 at 14:32

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