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I am not sure which of the following sentences is correct:

To put virus-resistance genes in the sweet potato.

To put virus-resistance genes into the sweet potato.

Could they both be correct? If one of the sentences above is not correct, could you briefly explain why?

Why could not "into" be replaced with "in" in the following sentence?

One approach that works very well is to segment the market into three different areas.

Thank you.

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To put virus-resistance genes in the sweet potato.

To put virus-resistance genes into the sweet potato.

From above sentences, second sentence is correct. To know the reason we must aware about the difference.

In general, the word "in" emphasizes the situation of something or someone being inside of something. For example: I am in the library. The cheese is in the refrigerator. There is a mouse in my house.

"Into" emphasizes the action of a thing or a person entering or being put inside something. For example: I am walking into the library. He put the cheese into the refrigerator. I saw the mouse creeping into my house.

In your examples we are going to put virus resistance genes into sweet potato because virus resistance genes don't exist in sweet potato and we are going to put/insert in it. If it is already exist we can use 'in'.

One approach that works very well is to segment the market into three different areas.

Above example is about 'Segmenting', means we are going to separate/divide market in 3 different areas, that's why 'into' could not be replaced by 'in'.

  • Find more details here : source – Shaunak Shukla May 29 '14 at 15:35
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    You're right. "In" indicates position and "into" indicates movement/entrance. However, with the verb "put", either "in" or "into" can be used. Example: He put his hands in/into his pockets. This is mentioned in "A Practical English Grammar" by: A. J. Thomson & A. V. Martinet on page 98 part B. – M.N May 29 '14 at 16:28
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I guess both your sentences are correct. Here, "in" is synonymous with "into" meaning "inside something". Here are two examples from OALD:

  • He dipped his brush in the paint.

  • She threw the letter into the fire.

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