1

I've heard that you have to say "join someone" and "join in something". I am going to make up a few pairs of sentences below.

(1a) I will join you for John's birthday lunch tomorrow.

(1b) I will join in for John's birthday lunch tomorrow.

(2a) I will join you for his retirement party next week.

(2b) I will join in his retirement party next week.

(3a) I will join the international comic event next month.

(3b) I will join in the international comic event next month.

I think both (1) and (2) follow the correct usage. I believe that you can say "join an event" without adding a pronoun after "join" because you will participate in it. "join in an event" is the correct usage.

Am I using "join" and "join in" correctly in all my sentences?

  • Why did anyone downvote this? It's an earnest question – GetOffMyLawn Mar 28 at 13:53
4

1a and 2a are the only ones that sound correct to me.

to join-in means to take part in or to become involved in. It's something that's already happening when the subject joins in.

He joined in dancing

The dancing was already ongoing when "he" started.

Don't you want to join in the fun?

The "fun" (party, festival, whatever) is already taking place.

I wouldn't use join in for a broad event. "She joined in the convention" would sound odd to me, because a convention isn't any one specific activity.

When talking about events and just using join, we wouldn't generally say join with the event itself. We join someone for the event.

He joined us for the work party.

2

"Join in" doesn't really fit in any of your examples. In fact, I'm not sure "join" alone works for example 3 either.

"Join in" idiomatically means to "get involved" with something, for example:

I joined in with the laughter.

"Join" alone means to unite or connect with someone or something.

I would use "join" for your first two examples:

I will join you for John's birthday lunch tomorrow.
I will join you for his retirement party next week.

But for your third example, the "event" is something you are attending, rather than getting involved or connecting with.

I will attend the international comic event next month.

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