Is there any difference between the usage of the word inside and within in the context of the following sentence; specifically, does one or the other sound more natural or odd?:

(i) the accused stood inside the gate to his house

(ii) the accused stood within the gate to his house

I read online and found people using the term interchangeably.


(i) While Reyes stood inside the gate to his property

(ii) A wood pile stood within the gate to the left

I have also read the related question here

  • 6
    Does this answer your question? What is the difference between “within” and “inside”? Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 13:00
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    Thank you Michael. I read it before, but i still dnt understand which word sounds better to english native speaker in the context of the sentence I put in the question. Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 13:04
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    I couldn't find that sentence under the second link, but it looks like an old book. Within sounds more formal and old-fashioned in this context. Commented Jan 11, 2022 at 13:53
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    You may get better answers if you can provide any further information. For example, are you trying to write something, or just wanting to learn about this in general? If you can give more complete and specific information, it might be better. For example, just because the phrase "the accused" seems rather formal, you may wish to indicate the genre and situation you are curioius about. If you are interested in writing, you may get a suggestion like "within his yard behind the gate" or etc., etc. Commented Feb 3, 2022 at 12:18
  • A dark secret smouldered within the walls of the famous castle.
    – Lambie
    Commented Mar 2 at 20:17

1 Answer 1


I would expect inside in this sentence, though I doubt I would even notice anything strange or potentially wrong with the second sentence unless my attention were called to it. I suppose that this is because, to say it simply, "inside the gate" is a common phrase in contemporary Standard English.

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