I have some difficulties with the use of the word “within” in essays. I know it means “inside” or “in”, but I don’t know in what contexts I should use this word.

“I am in my house” makes sense, but I know that “I am within my house” doesn’t.

Is “within” used for abstract things? “Within your heart”, “within yourself”...

I’d like to have some examples and situations in which “within” can or can’t be used.

not a native speaker*

  • 1
    You already know it. Yes, abstractions: within the parameters of the study. within is not used in contemporary English for physical things.
    – Lambie
    Jul 13, 2020 at 23:22
  • 1
  • @Lambie Has the UK become a non physical entity since Brexit? For orders within the UK, please enclose £2.50 for post and packing.
    – Brad
    Jun 11, 2021 at 7:46
  • @Brad I said physical thing. So, whatever you want. You want to call the UK, a physical "thing". Fine by me.
    – Lambie
    Jun 11, 2021 at 13:55

2 Answers 2


Some Interesting Answers and comments; However

As an preposition, adverb It relates to

inside or not further than an area or period of time:

Two thirds of Californians live within 15 miles of the coast.

In 1992 cross-border controls within the EU were dismantled.

For orders within the UK, please enclose £2.50 for post and packing.

The resort lies within easy reach of (= not far from) the ski slopes.

inside the limits of something, for example the law or a set of rules, and allowed by it:

~>I was acting within the law (= legally).

Ref How to use within

Ref C.E.D.


It conveys to something that "comes together" (e.g. -strength that lies within.)

Also represents to something that "standing in between" and not exceeding - Like a time duration, or being part of two or more or subjects (e.g. -within the allotted time. / -within those lines.)

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