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In Golden State, Cousins will team with four fellow All-Stars in the starting lineup in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

I saw the sentence from this article. The part that really confuses me is "in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green". I would use namely to provide a list, if I wrote it.

In Golden State, Cousins will team with four fellow All-Stars in the starting lineup, namely, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

What's the usage of "in" here?

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    @Em. What does it mean "you've got a friend in me"?
    – dan
    Jul 3, 2018 at 4:09
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    It roughly means "I am your friend".
    – Em.
    Jul 3, 2018 at 4:33

2 Answers 2

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There is an extension of the preposition's physical sense of containment. The preposition in in this context refers to embodiment of a quality.

You have a friend in me.

In Golden State, Cousins will team with four fellow All-Stars in the starting lineup in Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green.

What quality is being embodied there? "All-Stars".

{friend} in {me}

{All-Stars} in {Curry, Thompson, Durant, and Green}.

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  • That makes much more sense. Is this usage of 'in' common? Regional or dialectal?
    – dan
    Jul 3, 2018 at 14:01
  • It is not regional or dialectal, nor is it rare. Jul 3, 2018 at 14:05
  • See those examples here where the object of in is a proper name or an entity of some kind: google.com/… Jul 3, 2018 at 14:11
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This particular use of in is strange.

Although in can be used in other contexts, you can't have a starting lineup in somebody. (Only people in a starting lineup.)

Instead, you could have a starting lineup that consists of some people.

But a simpler way of expressing this is:

In Golden State, Cousins will team with four fellow All-Stars, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, in the starting lineup.

Your own rephrasing works as well.

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  • I disagree. You can have a starting line up in A, B, C..., but I couldn't find/choose a dictionary entry to support me. Maybe it's a regional difference.
    – Em.
    Jul 3, 2018 at 4:31

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