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The cars were slotted in the starting grid.

The cars were slotted into the starting grid.

Are they all valid and do they mean the same thing? What I was trying to say is that each car occupies a slot after placing on the grid during the qualifying rounds. I feel both roughly mean the same thing, but I am not 100% sure.

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The direct object of slot in is the thing that's slotted in.

I can slot you in

If you want to specify where or when somebody or something is slotted in, you must use a preposition, for example at or to:

I can slot you in at 3:30 pm
I can slot you in to the afternoon session

If you omit the to, as in your first sentence:

The cars were slotted in the starting grid.

in is taken as the preposition that links the starting grid, so the verb looks like slotted on its own rather than the phrasal verb slotted in, so it sounds like the cars have slots (holes) somewhere in their bodywork.

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  • So slotted into?
    – Sayaman
    Jul 22 at 15:57
  • 1
    @Sayaman yes: in this case, in to and into are equivalent.
    – JavaLatte
    Jul 24 at 9:11

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