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Ok, let see these sentences:

"He fed his dog in the morning"

"He fed his dog this morning"

"He fed his dog in this morning"

So, which sentence is correct?

It seems that the 2nd one is used more commonly

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As a native speaker, I can say that only 1 and 2 are correct in the UK and USA. From a cursory search I see that it is possible that some African or Asian varieties of English might use 3. I'm not an expert on those.

  1. 'He fed his dog in the morning.' The precise meaning of this sentence depends on context, e.g.

'He always fed his dog in the morning'.

'On the day of the murder, he fed his dog in the morning.'

  1. 'He fed his dog this morning.' This specifically relates to today. It means 'Today, he fed his dog in the morning.'

Notes

  1. You say 'It seems that the 2nd one is used more commonly.' Here is a quantification from Google ngram:

Google ngram: this morning,in the morning,in this morning

Although the words 'in this morning' do occur, if you read the resulting texts, you'll see that they are mostly used in a different sense, e.g. 'I could have slept in this morning' where the verb is 'to sleep in'.

  1. There is a technical discussion in this book.

Thus we have the strange discrepancies in the contrasts shown in Exx. 16, showing separate effects of the, this and that. (16) a. this morning, *on this morning, *in this morning b. *the morning, *on the morning, in the morning c. that morning,

Complex Sentences in Grammar and Discourse Essays in honor of Sandra A. Thompson

Edited by Joan L. Bybee and Michael Noonan University of New Mexico / University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

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