Let’s say you have a box, and you have a book inside it. You can attach a paper on it saying “Book” or “Book inside”. Now, if you’re sending it to someone and you write a note on it, you would say, “Your book is inside.”

Why would saying your book inside be wrong? Either way you’re labelling the object.

If on your note you wrote “your book: inside” or “your book – inside”. Those seem fine because they have a sign. Why is that? Is it because it just sounds better?

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    I think it is important to note that if you were asked what was inside the box, it would be grammatically incorrect to say both "your book inside", and simply "book inside". Neither would be acceptable in speech, while I believe that both are acceptable on a note. Jun 19, 2014 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


Notes or signs are often fragments of grammatically correct sentences. Notes/signs are often (or at least sometimes) NOT grammatically correct!

In your example above, a note stating "Book Inside" or simply "Book" would be acceptable.

If you were verbally asked what was in the box however, you could never respond with the phrase "Book inside." or "Book." You would sound like a caveman.

You could however, reply with "There is a book inside." or "You can find your book inside."

Using these complete sentences, you can retain the fragments that are stated in the note/sign.

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    The phrases are often shortened for notes/signs in order to efficiently get the point across. For example, a road sign saying "Gas - Exit 42" is much more straightforward and efficient than one saying "There is a gas station at exit 42". Jun 19, 2014 at 18:10
  • What if you're not verbally telling anyone but you're mailing the box to a person and you want them to know that their book is inside the box. In that case you would attach a note saying your books is inside the box. would it still be acceptable to write book inside or book ?
    – user80252
    Jun 19, 2014 at 18:52
  • My opinion is that it would be acceptable to write any of the sentences/fragments we've discussed ("book inside", "book", "your book inside", "your book is inside", etc). It's up to you! Jun 19, 2014 at 19:09

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