I encountered the following sentence:

"...contains the majority of information required to build a project in just the way you want."

It occurred to me that the sentence sounds completely natural without the preposition "in". Why does the preposition seem optional in the dependent clause?

1 Answer 1


This is mentioned in Merriam-Webster III under "way", definition 4a: (the mode or manner in which something is done or happens): "often used as the principal word in an adverbial phrase with no preposition" So the MW gurus analyze as adverbial phrase, rather than prepositional phrase. But why it doesn't happen with other prepositional phrases using in? Perhaps it's because way as manner seems "natural" in adverbials. Which do you prefer:

I did it my way
I did it in my way

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.