I couldn't find any source on the internet that explains the differences between "there" & "in there".

It seems that "there" emphasizes locations in general & "in there" emphasizes the inside of something.

Ex1: Don't go in there. It's too cold.

Ex2: Don't Go There! (a travel guiding book says that)

It would be great if you showed me a reliable source that mentioned this.

  • 3
    Your second sentence accurately summarises the significance of including in. What don't you understand? Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:48
  • 1
    @FumbleFingers, I need a referencing source. I am not a native & my students won't believe me if my sayings have no reference. Could you give me a referencing source?
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:53
  • 1
    Exactly as you said. In there emphasizes the position of some place. There is the general definition, it may be on, in, at, inside.. Don't go on there! There have been people who claimed to have seen ghosts!
    – Davyd
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 15:57
  • @Tom: Suspicious lot, your students! If you manage to convince them of the difference with in, will they demand similar "reliable sources" for every one of the different prepositions (and the different verbs that might precede them)? I think the scope of the question might be too broad for this kind of site. Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 16:03
  • 1
    Don't go on there? What, the roof or jungle jim?? /In there/ means an enclosed space or area. The enclosure can be a building or it can be a fence around an area, for instance. But as a teacher, I would have thought this is obvious. Because the idea of in and in there exists in most languages....
    – Lambie
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 16:04

3 Answers 3


"In there" mostly refers to the inside of a specific location, object, building - something somebody or something enters, penetrates, infiltrates or visits.

  • That's a cryochamber, don't go in there! It's too cold. = Don't go inside the cryochamber because it is cold inside.

"There" refers to a place, location, building, object - something in general.

  • If you've never been in Antarctica, don't go there. It's too cold. = Don't go to the place called Antarctica because it is cold there.

Practically, different prepositions can be used with "there" and "here" like "in", "on", "over", "up", "down", e.t.c.


You are describing what is grammatically known as a "preposition", a word governing, and usually preceding, a noun or pronoun and expressing a relation to another word or element. And yes "in there" is specific to a location.

The Preposition

  • 2
    Here or there are adverbs & generally, they don't need a proposition before them.
    – Tom
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 17:03

You usually use the word there as an adverb, but it can be used as a noun/pronoun.

When you say "Don't go there", you are using the there as an adverb meaning "to that place". So Don't go there = Don't go to that place.

As a noun, the there means "that place". The preposition "in" means inside. So Don't go in there = Don't go inside that place.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .