Are these usages of the word 'in' correct(grammatically speaking)?

  1. "In allowing them to get away unpunished, he tacitly approved of their behavior."

  2. "In repeated sampling the long-run relative frequencies of the confidence intervals that contain the true value of the parameter will approach the confidence level."

I looked at the various definitions of the "in" at Dictionary.com but I didn't find one that seemed to justify this usage. I still find it used in this fashion however.

1 Answer 1


I think they both are correct. Prepositions are tricky little things!

from the dictionary on my computer:

Oxford English Dictionary

in: 8 [ with verbal noun ] as an integral part of (an activity): in planning public expenditure it is better to be prudent.

  • What dictionary? It's better to use an online source if you can find one, that way you can link directly.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 1:11
  • LOL! It's the New Oxford American Dictionary. Just checked Merriam-Websters online--my usual online dictionary, but it merely presents 5 definitions for <in>. And OP's experience with Dictionary.com wasn't useful.
    – jimbo
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 1:20
  • The regular old Oxford English dictionary is online, and includes the definition you quote: en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/in . It's always nice to link to the OED, that way the Brits on here can't complain. :)
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 1:26
  • I'm new here. I thought what the OP wanted was an answer. There's the answer. I was hoping to give the English Language Learner a quick response, explaining why the usage is correct. Isn't this an ESL board? Why would Brits complain on an ESL board? Perhaps I need to lurk around a little before I jump in and try to help people. Perhaps I should just find something better to do with my time.
    – jimbo
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 1:35
  • You can review some of the other accepted answers to see what a "good" answer looks like. In general if you say something is correct, it's not a bad idea to have a reference to back you up, where convenient. Especially for things like simple definitions, it only takes a moment to link to an online dictionary. Anyway your answer is fine, but if you edit to include the link I'll upvote it.
    – Andrew
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 1:41

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