What's Up With Into And In To?

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What's Up With Into and In To?

It’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for—the latest edition of Pruphreeding 1 oh One! Last time we looked at four little words (e.g., i.e., it’s and its), so I thought it fitting to discuss some more little ones—into and in to. See? Tiny. Okay, let’s get started.



The vast majority of the time you encounter “in” and “to,” they’ll appear as one word—“into.” (I don’t actually have any hard data to back up this statement, but my perception is that it’s usually “into.”)


“Into” is a preposition which has any number of definitions, but (generally) they all have something to do with motion or direction. For example: I walked into the sunlight and immediately regretted it. Into, in this case, specifies the direction I’m walking—into the sunlight. Hence, one word.


In To

Here’s where it can get a little confusing. In on its own can be an adverb, preposition, adjective or noun. To on its own can be a preposition, an adverb or part of an infinitive. So, on occasion, in just so happens to end up next to to in a sentence.


Most of the time when “in to” occurs, it’s because “in” is part of a phrasal verb (e.g., show up, wake up, call off, do over, etc…). For example: Let me log in to the website. In that example “in” belongs to “log.” After all, you don’t go to a website to log. You go to a website to log in. In other words, “log in” acts as the verb.


Bonus: “Login” as one word is a noun or adjective. So, you log in to the website using your login and password.


Double bonus: Phrasal verbs are a really good example of why it’s perfectly acceptable to end a sentence with a preposition, but that’s a topic for another time. 


Is your head ready to blow up? Mine too. Until next time!