What I have gotten from a website: http://languagelearningbase.com/10827/whats-difference-between-worlds-into-when-each-one-questions However, what would I say if I were to write:

-He placed the sweet (in/into) the box.

-He was born (in/into) a rich family.

  • 2
    If you used put, either 'He put the sweet in the box' or 'he put the sweet into the box' would be acceptable. I think in works better with placed, because it emphasises the position of the sweet in the box rather than the movement. As for the second example, the idiomatic expression is 'born into' a family. Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 9:32
  • @KateBunting does within work for the sentence to?
    – Genie
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 10:18
  • 1
    This definition of within gives some examples of how the word is used. Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 11:25

1 Answer 1


When it is a literal use, about space, then into may be used when something moves from outside the space to inside it. But English speakers often don't bother with the extra syllable when it is clear without it; so

He placed the sweet in/into the box

are both grammatical and normal.

However, born into (a family) is an idiom.

  • So, ‘born into’ is a fixed phrase and cannot be changed. And… for the 1st sentence either option is alright for the blank?
    – Genie
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 15:22

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