I made up a sentence:

She sold the house that she lived in in her childhood

Obviously, these 2 "in" relate to different words in the sentence, but is it natural and idiomatic?

I've heard natives use similar structure of the sentence countless times but with 2 different prepositions e.g. "She hated the man she was married to in her twenties".

Should I rephrase my sentence because I have 2 identical prepositions in a row?

  • 1
    No, it doesn't sound odd.
    – Eden0516
    Jun 5 at 8:03
  • If youve made the sentence, is there any reason not to use "during"?
    – James K
    Jun 5 at 8:18
  • It does sound clumsy to me but, as James says, you can change the sentence in many ways to avoid it - the house where she lived or when she was a child, for example. Jun 5 at 12:39
  • It might sound a bit more odd if we had three consecutive instances of in here, but it could still be perfectly grammatical - if her mother was a "live-in" domestic servant, so she she "lived in" along with her mother, in (within) that house, in (during) her childhood. Jun 5 at 12:45

1 Answer 1


It is not really a problem, the two "in"s are different in function. The first is part of the phrasal verb "live in", and the second is a prepostion.

However, as there are very simple ways to avoid this, you can improve your sentence either by using "during" (which is a more precise preposition of time) or in formal writing "the house in which she lived".

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