“Into” or “In to”

images-2You would think after five years, I would have this one figured out. Well apparently not. I have been having sections of my novel critiqued for the last 6 months. I seem to have the same issues over and over which is very frustrating.

Just when I think I have the “into” word figured out, I get a critique back citing it, because it was used incorrectly. I’ve developed some friends/ followers on the critique site I use. One of those friends commented just recently, “you’re consistent, I’ll give you that.” Unfortunately, she meant consistently wrong 😦

So I did some research, to hopefully put this one to rest. Thought I would share my findings with you. I have no doubt, I’m not the only person with this problem.

“Into”    is a preposition that expresses movement or something toward or into something.

  • I fell into the puddle.
  • I put the money into my pocket.

“In to”   is the adverb “in” followed by the preposition “to”. They aren’t related and only happen to fall next to each other.

  • She came in to pick up her laundry.
  • He went  in to see if it was true.

A quick check if you’re still questioning your decision…

Look at your sentence and replace ‘into’ or ‘in to’ with ‘where’. If the second half of the sentence answers where, then use ‘into’.

If that doesn’t work, replace the ‘in to’ with ‘in order to’. If it works, use ‘in to’.

“Into” answers ‘where’.

  • I fell ‘where?’-into the puddle.
  • I put the money ‘where?’-into my pocket.


“In to” is short for ‘in order to’.

  • She came  ‘where?’-to pick up her laundry. That doesn’t make sense. It answers ‘why’ not ‘where’.
  • She came ‘in order to’-pick up her laundry. Uses ‘in to’.
  • ——————————————————————–
  • He went  ‘where?’ to see if it was true. Again that doesn’t make sense. It’s not answering ‘where’ but ‘why’.
  • He went ‘in order to’ see if it was true. Uses ‘in to’.

Hope this clears thing up. I won’t be making that mistake again 🙂

-Jan R





“Into” or “In to”

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