Could you tell me what preposition "in" or "to" should I use in the sentence below?

  • I am passionate about making a positive difference in/to the lives of the children I visit.
  • They're both fine, and I can't see any scope for thinking they might have different meanings. For your exact (somewhat cliched) context, "in" is far more common, but it's no more "correct" than to. Jan 4, 2017 at 20:23
  • To me, here, in means "inside", while to "toward" or "in the direction of".
    – Abbasi
    Jan 4, 2017 at 20:38

3 Answers 3


I think of it this way

Having a boyfriend/girlfriend is a difference in one's life.
Winning the lottery is a difference to one's life.

A change in one's life can make a difference to one's life.

  • for sake of argument, I'd say it's the other way around. I have no arguments, do you?
    – Hector von
    Mar 20, 2017 at 3:15
  • The way I think of it: since boyfriend/girlfriend becomes a part of one's life, I think of it as in my life, winning the lottery is an external force, though it does effect one's life it is not "in" my life but is an effect to one's life. For example, the weather will make a change to my life (external influence), but not in my life (an incorporated part of).
    – Peter
    Mar 20, 2017 at 5:28
  • Yes, you said that, but your argument is based on the conclusion, not the other way around, "though it does effect one's life it is not "in" my life". I posit, a friend is no more or less external or internal to your life than the weather. Your argument is fuzzy, where do you draw the line?
    – Hector von
    Mar 20, 2017 at 14:09

If you are trying to delineate that you want to make changes to those children, use "to", which indicates toward a subject.


If I am going to choose between in or to I would choose in. Also, I think into the lives of children I visit would work.

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