Please help with clarifying which phrase would be better if both are correct:

  1. 'The port in use by the web-server.'
  2. 'The port used by the web-server.'

This is a standalone sentence without further context (written in text at least). The phrase is used as an description of a parameter (named 'port') in a web-site which runs some software on-demand. This phrase means that there is another program that is currently configured in a such way that it expects to receive a specific value from the application run by this web-site. This application reads the value from this parameter.

So the questions are:

  1. are both phrases correct?
  2. what's the difference between the two phrases if any?
  3. which one suits better in this case?

I feel that the first one should be better as it means 'the port (currently) being used by web-server', but I'm not absolutely sure. (See https://dictionary.cambridge.org/ru/%D1%81%D0%BB%D0%BE%D0%B2%D0%B0%D1%80%D1%8C/%D0%B0%D0%BD%D0%B3%D0%BB%D0%B8%D0%B9%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8%D0%B9/in-use)

2 Answers 2


"The port in use" means the port that is currently being used by the web-server.

"The port used by the web-server" means the port that is generally used by the web-server, though it may not be using it now.

In your context, it sounds as if this is a permanent, or at least semi-permanent value for that web server. In that case, "the port used" would be better. If it's a parameter that changes from time to time, "the port in use" would be better.


1). 'the port in use by the web-server'

2). ''the port used by the web-server'

Both phrases are fine. I removed the fullstops as they are not complete sentences.

Your interpretation is right, that 1) means the port (currently) being used by the web-server.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .