How can I explain the logical meaning of the difference between into and in when cutting something. For example, 'Cut the peach into 3 pieces' vs 'Cut the peach in half' Thank you!

marked as duplicate by anongoodnurse, Kris, tchrist, Chenmunka, user66974 Sep 28 '14 at 21:26

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Into and in are both prepositions with slight changes; into implies objects/locations while in is far more general. The main difference in your peach-cutting scenarios is that the first instance uses a noun form whereas the second deals with an adjective.

Cut the peach into 3 pieces

"Piece" is a noun, whilst...

... in half

"half" is an adjective.

By the same logic, take a look at the following that conveys similar meanings:

Cut the peach into halves or thirds. (into + n.)

  • 1
    Good answer. In half seems to be an adjectival phrase, which only applies if there is just one peach. – WS2 Sep 28 '14 at 8:07
  • It looks like different sizes is a Noun Phrase though ... – Araucaria Sep 28 '14 at 19:55
  • @Araucaria I mislead myself into thinking: "peaches of or in different sizes". Omitted to prevent confusion. Thanks for spotting it! – Crosscounter Oct 1 '14 at 16:31

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