6

Consider these expressions:

Come to my room.

Come in my room.

When I came in the lobby/corridor in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around for X.

When I came to the lobby/corridor in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around for X.

Can anyone explain to me whether there is any difference between come in and come to in this context? Because of my native language, I tend to use come in rather than come to.

10

For different circumstances you would use different forms. Here are some instances.

• “Come to my room”: While away from your room, you tell a person to come with you to your room; or via telephone, tell someone to come to your room.

• “Come in my room”: Standing outside the door of your room talking with someone, you ask them to come in to continue a discussion. But typically it would be stated more briefly or at least differently: “Come in”, “Come on in, let's sit down”, etc without mentioning the room, since it is right there anyway. Note, into is a likely prospect when the room is mentioned.

• “When I came in the lobby in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around...”: This form is inappropriate; use into instead. I'd use into for going into a lobby from inside a hotel.

• “When I came to the lobby in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around...”: I'd use to for going to a lobby in a hotel, from elsewhere, but typically no real distinction will be made between use of to and into in this context.

• “When I came to in the lobby in the evening, there were tons of people gathered around...”: This form is appropriate if you passed out and are regaining consciousness.

6

My understanding of the difference in the two prepositions, "in" and "to": In the room = being inside the room; to enter the room. To the room = being in the proximity of the room, but not necessarily inside it. Come to my room might mean to come and knock on the door, etc.

2

Come to is equivalent to approach or arrive at.

Come in (or come into or come in to) is equivalent to enter.

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