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I would like to know if there is a difference between the two sentences below and why do we need to use 'in' on the first sentence.

"The kitchen is Mexican in style." "The kitchen is Mexican style."

Thank you so much in advance.

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The first sentence is correct. The second is wrong.

We don't say that something is style although objects are often described as stylish, meaning fashionable or trendy rather than in a particular taste or design.

It would be correct to say:

The castle is Roman in style

The canoes were Caribbean in style

meaning that the castle/canoes have typical design features of the place or period.

However, you can also say:

The castle was constructed in the Roman style

The canoes were fashioned in the Caribbean style.

or

The kitchen was designed in (the) Mexican style

More examples at:

http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/style http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/style

  • Also “Mexican-style” is perfectly fine when used attributively, so it may well have been a “Mexican-style kitchen”. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Aug 13 '17 at 16:22
  • @JanusBahsJacquet Or with a determiner: "The kitchen was done up in a Mexican style." – tchrist Aug 13 '17 at 18:49

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