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I have been teaching others how to use various files, and I always wonder if I am using the correct grammar when I say we need to copy and paste data from one file to another.

So which of these is correct?

  1. Copy and paste the data into this sheet/file.

  2. Copy and paste the data in this sheet/file.

Thanks in advance!

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1 Answer 1

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The preposition has a sense of direction that is appropriate to copying data from a source and then moving it to a destination. It is the correct word to use, signifying the destination clearly.

Copy (the source) and paste the data into this file (the destination).

into = in the direction of something or someone

Cambridge dictionary

If you say "copy and paste the data in this file" it is ambiguous. It may be taken to mean copy the data that is in the source file, but does not give a sense of the direction or destination to which the data should go.

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