When reporting on a project that is still being worked on, do you call it in progress or do you call it in process?

I have heard both, and both make sense in their own way. I want to know what both the descriptivists and prescriptivists have to say.

3 Answers 3


Describing a project as in process sounds pretty odd to me, but apparently the form does occur - although in progress is about 5 times more common, as this NGram clearly shows. .

This chart specifically for in process of [changing, for example] strongly suggests the usage is falling out of favour. enter image description here

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    I obviously can't speak for everyone, but I have always said in progress but in the process of. In progress of sounds odd to me; I would not have understood it without the comparison given.
    – Anonym
    Commented May 3, 2014 at 17:40

What I have to say:

The writing of my project is currently in progress.


My project is currently in the process of being written.

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    I would say in the process [of being written] Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 14:49
  • Before consulting Google books I'd have thought your second sentence was simply sloppy English, with the word "the" conspicuous by its absence. I now know better, but the evidence does suggest it's "dated". Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 14:59
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    In computing, a distinction is made between "in process" and "out of process". The process is the algorithm currently loaded and into which the Instruction Pointer is currently pointing and executing instructions in the CPU or central processing unit. A call to a subroutine can be "in process" if it is already loaded into memory and part of the currently executing algorithm. A call to a subroutine can be "out of process" if the CPU must perform operating system kernel interrupt operations to fetch the subroutine from secondary storage before executing it. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 7:53
  • These two mutually exclusive process types arose out of the need to conserve memory and enable code reuse. They are still common parlance in operating system jargon. By extension one can refer to any sequential procedure that is "currently in process" and ready to execute as opposed to the opposite state of a procedure that is "out of process" and requiring another high level process to interrupt the current execution and run to successful completion before the next instruction can be preformed, incurring substantial overheads. Commented Jan 23, 2017 at 7:54

To me being in process implies that a process is proceeding to a conclusion.

Being in progress implies that it is progressing or moving forward to a point or of completion.


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