I never know when to use the terms "into", "in", "by" and "through".

For example:

  • Context one: "Run this command __ Windows prompt"

  • Context two: "Execute the command __ the menu option 'File -> Preferences' "

In this cases I should use "into", "in", "by" or "through"? So when I should use each one of this terms?


1 Answer 1


In C1, use at the for natural wording; ie, “Run this command at the Windows prompt”. Some people may speak of “in the Windows prompt”, by which they probably mean in a DOS window (so they should be saying “Run this command in a DOS window”, which is acceptable), but at the is more exact and more natural when referring to entering a command at a command prompt.

In C2, using or via are better: “Execute the command using menu option ‘File->Preferences’” or “Execute the command via menu option ‘File->Preferences’”. Although by and through are possibilities in C2, neither is as good as either of using or via. (Disclaimer: If I understand correctly, I'd say “Select menu option ‘File->Preferences’” instead of “Execute the command via menu option ‘File->Preferences’”, because I doubt you can actually execute commands via the File menu.)

  • You are correct. I just found Microsoft documentation using 'at' [Command-line tools must be run at the prompt of the Cmd.exe command interpreter]. Mar 19, 2013 at 21:27
  • Thanks a lot! About the final comment, I tried to adapt the context to make sense for the not developers readers. The original context was "Execute the command via Ant". Thanks again.
    – Pmt
    Mar 19, 2013 at 21:57

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