I heard a lot people omit the "in" while saying "in a right way".

for example

if a kid play with a knife, someone would told him/her "you are not using the knife a right way"

is it grammatical and idiomatic?

  • 3
    Usually I would replace a with the in both cases. In which case, full example makes perfect sense, but I am not sure if it is technically grammatical.
    – katatahito
    Jul 24, 2019 at 2:28
  • 1
    As per the above comment, I have never heard using it a right way, only using it the right way. Jul 24, 2019 at 3:32
  • 2
    To echo the sentiments above, there's usually only one right way, so it's the right way, not a right way. Seeing "a right way" immediately tells me I'm dealing with a non-native speaker. It's definitely idiomatic to omit the "in" in this construction -- "you are not using the knife the right way" sounds fine and might even be preferable. Like @katatahito, I'll leave the grammatical analysis to an answerer. For what it's worth, I'd personally just use "correctly" and avoid the whole thing: "you're not using the knife correctly"
    – A C
    Jul 24, 2019 at 5:07

1 Answer 1


This question was already answered in the comments, however for the sake of completeness -

Both your sentences are grammatically correct when a is replaced by the.

You are not using the knife the correct way

You are not using the knife in the correct way

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