Possible Duplicates:
Difference between “in” and “into”
When should “into” be used rather than “in to,” and vice versa?

Since solar power is theoretically the most efficient energy source on earth, shouldn't we invest more in harnessing it?

As I was writing the sentence above, I became uncertain as to whether I should write in or into, and thereby doubted whether I really understood the difference. Please explain.

  • it's actually not a duplicate of the above. If you inspected the link, you'd see that the question itself is a dupe referring to the differences between "into" and "in to." That's NOT my question. – Anderson Silva Jul 6 '11 at 11:30
  • The difference betweeen in and into has definitely been covered by other questions. If not in the above links then maybe here: Classify into 4 categories or in 4 categories? If you are asking more about invest in vs. invest into, maybe you could change your title. – Callithumpian Jul 6 '11 at 11:49
  • @Anderson: I changed the title so as to make it sound like less of a dupe. – Daniel Jul 6 '11 at 12:22
  • @drm65 while my question specific to invest, I still want to know the generic differences and exceptions. – Anderson Silva Jul 6 '11 at 12:23
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    @Anderson: Did you remember this question you asked earlier? See the first comment under @FumbleFingers' 18-vote answer – Daniel Jul 6 '11 at 15:59

The following Ngram indicates that "invest in" occurs nearly 400 times more frequently than "invest into". Personally, I have always heard "invest in", never "invest into".


Since usage ultimately defines language, I would not tend to fight "invest in" merely because of the current definition of "in". There are many examples of words having different meanings in different contexts; "in" is one of them.


We always use invest in something and not invest into something. Checking both CALD and OALD shows no usage of invest into, though the latter lists invests on.

  • Not exactly. We usually say 'invest in*, but invest into isn't unknown. For some reason, the into form is more likely to be used when the subject is a diversity (but even then, in is most common). – FumbleFingers Jul 6 '11 at 11:37

I hope you will be able to see their differences from their meanings:


to the inside of; in toward: He walked into the room. The train chugged into the station.
toward or in the direction of: going into town.
to a point of contact with; against: backed into a parked car.


(used to indicate inclusion within space, a place, or limits): walking in the park.
(used to indicate inclusion within something abstract or immaterial): in politics; in the autumn.
(used to indicate inclusion within or occurrence during a period or limit of time): in ancient times; a task done in ten minutes.

In is used to indicate inclusion within; into is used when there is movement.

  • Which means, in my example, into is correct, isn't it? – Anderson Silva Jul 6 '11 at 11:27
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    Yes, definitely. – Thursagen Jul 6 '11 at 11:28
  • Your conviction is dubious (and probably invalid)based on above comments and the other post. – Anderson Silva Jul 6 '11 at 12:24
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    I disagree. Think of it like this "we must invest more money into harnessing solar power." Is that clearer? This sentence is stating that more money has to be "put into" harnessing solar power. – Thursagen Jul 6 '11 at 12:27
  • Your conclusion is invalid. As drm65 shows, "invest in" is much more common than "invest into". If the dictionary implies otherwise, the dictionary is incomplete. This is unsurprising, particularly in the case of prepositions. – Colin Fine Jul 6 '11 at 14:02

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