What is meant by the sentence:

She manhandled the posts into place.

I found it as an example of the usage of the word manhandle at Merriam-Webster website.

I think the sentence should be:

She manhandled the posts at their right place.


She manhandled the posts into their place.

if it is meant that she moved the posts at some place. I have never heard: something is moved into place.

  • 1
    manhandle Move (a heavy object) by hand with great effort. That's from OxfordDictionaries, but you could have looked a few lines further down on the M-W page to find the example They manhandled the heavy boxes onto the truck. Aug 22, 2017 at 18:16
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    Since you found this example on the Merriam-Webster site, I'm guessing you looked at the definition of manhandle. If you edit your question to explain what you didn't understand the definition, we might be able to reopen your question.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 22, 2017 at 18:34
  • @ColleenV I thought the sentence should be: "She manhandled the posts at their right place.", if it is meant that she moved the posts at some place. I have never heard: something is moved into place. Aug 22, 2017 at 19:14
  • @Fumblefingers This question has been updated with more detail if you want to take another look.
    – ColleenV
    Aug 22, 2017 at 19:51
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    Unless her task was simply to lay each post down right next to the location where it would subsequently be fixed upright in the ground (to support a fence, for example), I'd be more likely to use into position. Note this NGram showing that move it into position is significantly more common than move it into place. Aug 23, 2017 at 14:06

2 Answers 2


She manhandled the posts into place.

This would be how someone might normally phrase the sentence (manhandle is not a super common word).

"To move into place" means to cause the thing to be in the correct place. (into is similar to in but always implies motion rather than location).

She manhandled the posts at their right place.

The definition of manhandled cited above indicates motion with great effort, so this sentence would imply she moved the posts but the posts didn't change position, which seems rather odd. The sentence in any case doesn't sound natural.

  • So it appears that this meaning is derived from idioms: fall into place, put something into place. I tried to google, but I didn't find an idiom: "to move into place", which suggests this meaning. Aug 23, 2017 at 3:03
  • Should this statement be rephrased as "She manhandled the posts into their place."? Aug 23, 2017 at 5:56
  • "into place" vs "into their place" won't really make a difference; either would be reasonable. Likewise, move into place isn't really derived from idioms, certainly not strictly understood. "into" is used with motion, so can be used with various verbs indicating motion (to move, to place, to put).
    – eques
    Aug 23, 2017 at 13:31

The phrase "to move into place" is correct, idiomatic and common. As a random example from the first page of google "A giant metal shield [...] at Chernoby [...] is being moved into place."

Manhandle means move by hand. And so "manhandle into place" is correct and idiomatic. You could use other verbs that imply movement: "push into place", "heave into place"

Saying "move at their right place" is correct English, but means something different: The posts are moved, while staying in one location. (they could be rotated, for example). Correct English, but probably not what you would usually want to mean.

  • Reason for downvote?
    – James K
    Aug 23, 2017 at 14:14

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