What is the difference in meaning between 'into' and 'in to'?

Is there a difference in meaning or with usage?

I was unable to find anything on other websites.

  • The answer provided below should suffice. Also, I've provided a link below the answer. – vickyace Mar 12 '17 at 16:07

Into is a preposition.

In and to are words that can take on many different meanings.

This article from ODO gives the following handy rules for when you should use into vs in to, and also explores the question in some depth.

Is to part of an infinitive verb or is it a preposition?

If yes, always write in and to as separate words:

✔ Ministers stepped in to resolve the crisis. (in is part of the phrasal verb step in; to resolve is an infinitive verb form)

✔ I just dropped in to see how you were. (in is part of the phrasal verb drop in; to see is an infinitive verb form)

✔ He listened in to our phone call. (in is part of the phrasal verb listen in; to is a preposition that belongs with the noun phrase our phone call)

Does into appear in conjunction with a verb (or phrasal verb) of movement, action, or change, and is it functioning as a preposition that’s linked in meaning to a noun or pronoun?

If yes, always write into as one word:

✔ When I first stepped into the room, I had no idea of its size. (step is a simple verb of movement; into is a preposition)

✔ Oh no! I dropped my phone into the bath! (drop is a simple verb of action; into is a preposition)

✔ Their company ran into financial difficulties. (run into is a phrasal verb)

✔ He didn’t go into detail about the accident. (go into is a phrasal verb)

  • 1
    Well put. There's also an answer here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/125/… – vickyace Mar 12 '17 at 16:06
  • 1
    It is fortunate that you did. Your take on this question will help,primarily because this is basically what every English user should know. – vickyace Mar 12 '17 at 16:15

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