He came, and in such very good time, that the ladies were none of them dressed. In ran Mrs. Bennet to her daughter’s room, in her dressing-gown, and with her hair half finished, crying out,

“My dear Jane, make haste and hurry down. He is come—Mr. Bingley is come. He is, indeed. Make haste, make haste. Here, Sarah, come to Miss Bennet this moment, and help her on with her gown. Never mind Miss Lizzy’s hair.”

from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

I could get the meaning of the sentence, and I understand it as an "inversion“,often seen in literature.

My question is that if all the following versions are the same meaning and grammatically ok:

  1. In ran Mrs. Bennet to her daughter’s room

  2. In to ran Mrs. Bennet her daughter’s room

  3. Into ran Mrs. Bennet her daughter’s room

  4. Into her daughter’s room ran Mrs. Bennet

Could someone help? Thanks.

  • You should only ask a single question. In running means something totally different than in ran. (1) In running to her room, Mrs. Bennet tripped and fell. (2) In ran Mrs. Bennet, entering her room in haste. Not only can't you simply replace one with the other without adjusting the rest of the words, what they describe is different—so you would change the meaning too. Everything else being equal, sentence inversion is fine. Either version works. But what single question are you actually focused on here? The two are not really related to each other. – Jason Bassford May 5 at 5:45
  • I can't understand what you are saying, because I tried my best to illustrate the confusion with me. What you said confused me more, because " Mrs. Bennet didn't trip or fall”. – user86301 May 5 at 6:38
  • I changed my question, see if it would clarify my confusion with the sentence. – user86301 May 5 at 6:58
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    As I said, in running means something different than in ran. In running means in the process of running, while in ran means ran into. My use of tripping was meant to illustrate the difference in meaning. You cannot simply replace one phrase with the other. (But I see you're no longer concerned with that particular difference.) – Jason Bassford May 5 at 15:40
  • Thanks. I see now. I was confused by the use of "a past tense after a preposition", as in "in ran". but as you explained, and with the other' help, in this case "in ran" means "ran into". – user86301 May 7 at 7:11

(1) and (4) work as sentences, (2) and (3) don't. I suppose it's because into needs to come immediately before the name of the place being entered.

| improve this answer | |
  • If (1) and (4) is acceptable, does it mean in this case, that "in to" ="into"? – user86301 May 5 at 8:07
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    There would be no reason to leave a space between them in this context. – Kate Bunting May 5 at 8:13
  • that's what I am trying to say and confused me most. if to put the sentence back in normal order, shouldn't it be "Mrs. Bennet ran into her daughter’s room"? if "into" is the only correct, then why the original sentence put "In" in the beginning of the sentence? really struggling here.... – user86301 May 5 at 8:17
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    It's a stylistic choice. Obviously 'Mrs. B. ran into her daughter's room' would be the normal way to say it, but putting the preposition at the start of the sentence makes the action seem more lively. Another example - "Up jumped Dingo - Yellow-Dog-Dingo" (Kipling) – Kate Bunting May 5 at 8:32
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    Sorry for the misunderstanding. I said there was no reason to leave a space in this context, not that it was always wrong to do so. In the rather unusual case of Jane Austen's inverted sentence, in and to have to be separated because into ran Mrs. Bennet doesn't work. – Kate Bunting May 5 at 10:32

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