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What is the meaning of "in" in the sentence, "Tea splashed in a puddle" ? (Source: The Princess Twins and the Tea Party by Mona Hodgson)

Does "Tea splashed in a puddle" mean "Tea splashed. The place where tea splashed is a puddle"?

Or does "Tea splashed in a puddle" mean "Tea splashed making a puddle(=>The shape of the tea splashed is the puddle form)" ?

Does "in" in "Tea splashed in a puddle" mean "making" ?

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Tea splashed in a puddle

here means "Tea splashed onto the floor, forming a puddle of tea." It could have meant "Tea splashed into an existing puddle of water." but the context and the illustration make the meaning very clear.

It doesn't say anything about the shape of the puddle, and the word "puddle" doesn't imply any particular shape.

The place where the tea splashed has indeed become a puddle of tea.

Thus "in" here means "making", "creating" or "forming". In the alternate menaing, "in" would mean "into" or "joining".

  • Thank you!! I have used the preposition "in" as a preposition expressing almost a place. So I'm not really familiar with other expressions of "in" other than places expressions of "in". When "in" is not interpreted as a place, I can not always be sure whether I am interpreting it properly or not. – user22046 Jun 2 at 0:29
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    I am glad to be helpful. I fear there is no solution but study and practice. "In" can often mean 'into" which can mean "making" or "inside", but many other senses are possible. Man of them have at least a hint of 'place", but not all do. "In Bridge, the rules say..." here 'in" means "when the topic is". By the way, the best form of thanks here on SE is to click the check-mark to accept, and the 2nd best is to upvote, although thinks in a comment are also welcome. – David Siegel Jun 2 at 0:39

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