It was just then that Mr. Jones woke up. The next moment he and his four men were in the store-shed with whips in their hands, lashing out in all directions.

According to the meanings in dictionaries, in could mean either inside or into. In this sentence above both of them make sense. I found that all the examples below the article into in dictionaries are preceded with a notional verb, which is not the case in this sentence. So which meaning is more suitable here?

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    Here, it means inside. Jan 14, 2022 at 14:48
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    Obviously they must have gone into the shed, but the narrative jumps forward from the moment of Mr Jones waking to the time when they are already inside the shed. Jan 14, 2022 at 15:00

1 Answer 1


The sentence describes a state: the five men are in the shed. It means they are inside that building.

Into has a directional, transitional element to it. The men were outside. They went/ran/sneaked into the shed. Now they are inside.

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