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In this paragraph:

For my Spanish class in my junior year… um… we had to do a project that involved making a movie. And I had never worked with a video camera before ‘coz I never owned one. And my friend and I decided to do an action flick because that would be something fun. So I decided one day… the thought just came to me as I was brushing my hair that we could do a B-movie, horrible movie. And we could call it Attack of the Killer of Sombrero. And a sombrero is a big Mexican hat, so it worked in with my Spanish class.

The Longman dictionary says "work in" means to include something or to add something to another. However, I don't think that's correct. I guess "work in" in that context means to be suitable. Or I can write: "..., so it was suitable with my Spanish class".

Could you advise whether my guess is correct? Thanks.

  • 3
    Very good guess. Suitable and, perhaps, relevant. Work in with is a fairly recent colloquialism, which is probably why it doesn't show up in your dictionary. – StoneyB Oct 13 '13 at 17:14
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    Work in, intransitive, is used more broadly as act in synergy. – StoneyB Oct 13 '13 at 17:20
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In this context, 'worked in' is a little ambiguous. In both senses it means that there is a connection between the subject of the class and the subject of the planned film, but it's not clear whether that connection is required or just helpful. Despite many rereads, I'm not sure which meaning is more likely.

In the first case, your suggestion 'so it was suitable with my Spanish class' would need to be edited as suitable should be followed by 'for' in this sentence structure. 'So it was suitable for my Spanish class' would be grammatically correct and convey this meaning.

In the second case, a phrase such as 'linked in well' or 'fitted in nicely' could replace it.

  • Just a few points needs your clarification. The phrase 'fit in', according to dictionary, means to be accepted by other people (example: I never really fitted in at school). How about the phrase 'link in'? Does it mean to 'connect with another idea' (synonym: tie in) (example: This point links in with our earlier discussion.). If so, how could the phrase 'link in' replace 'work in' in the sentence above? – doquan0 Oct 15 '13 at 15:22
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    Both phrases are appropriate and indicate that there is a connection between the subject and the object. In the case of 'fit in with', I mean that there is a good fit (match). Although it is often used to mean social acceptance, this meaning is also common. In the case of 'link in', I'm using the phrase the same way as your definition: 'connect with an idea'. The Spanish language is the connecting idea between the Mexican hat and the Spanish lesson. – Sepia Oct 16 '13 at 19:37

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