What is the meaning of the "in" in these sentences?

1- There is no shame in wanting to be successful.

2- There is no advantage in working at that company

3- She realized there was no use in arguing with him.

4- Mary is wrong in saying, 'Jack is stupid'.

Can I omit the "in" or change with another preposition?


1'- There is no shame wanting to be succesful

2'- There is no advantage working at that company.

3'- She realized there was no use of arguing with him.

4'- Mary is wrong about saying, "Jack is stupid".


The gerund used in the original sentences works as a noun expressing an action. A speaker can find something good or not so good in that action.

Replacing or removing that preposition is sometimes possible, but not in all these examples. The first sentence after modification at least can get a second meaning and sound like 'There is no shame that wants to be successful'. Same with the second sentence (like, advantages don't work at that company). 'Use of arguing' can be treated as a general concept (e. g. what's the use of arguing?) but the preposition in works better in the situation of her 'arguing with him'. In sentence 4 'about' is grammatically possible but would make it unclear what was wrong: she shouldn't have said a known thing or she was wrong about Jack.

  • Hi, I want to ask one more thing. What did you mean by saying "...can find good or not so good in that action" . What does "in" mean here? "inside the action" (metaphorical) or "during the action" or something else? – Talha Özden Aug 18 at 15:08

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