Would you tell me if there is any difference in meaning between these pairs? I cannot yet get my specific answer as I am wondering if "in", "out of", or "to" mean the same thing? if not, how to differentiate among them?

  1. two cupfuls to a gallon

  2. two cupfuls in a gallon

  1. one in three young people

  2. one to three young people

closed as off-topic by snailcar, Nathan Tuggy, M.A.R., pyobum, Glorfindel Aug 2 '15 at 9:30

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  • 2
    "Two cupfuls to a gallon" and "Two cupfuls in a gallon" mean the same thing. "One in three young people" means well, literally, one in three people or "one out of three people". "One to three young people" means from one to three young people which could be 1, 2 or 3. – user6200 Aug 1 '15 at 21:12
  • 5
    This question needs complete sentences to make sense. How are you trying to use these words? ① To get the proper amount of water, add two cupfuls to a gallon.The ratio is two cupfuls to a gallon.I drank anywhere from two cupfuls to a gallon of water a day. ④  . . . – snailcar Aug 2 '15 at 2:55

In the first pair, the first phrase would be referring to an amount between two cups and a gallon, whereas the second phrase is saying the two cups are somehow inside the gallon, and I cannot think of a situation where it would be used.

As for the second pair, the first phrase means one young person out of every three young people, whereas the second means an amount between one and three young people, as it was in the first pair.

  • How many cups in a gallon? is a common thing to say. – ColleenV Aug 2 '15 at 14:48
  • @ColleenV I have never heard that phrase before, so I'm sorry that my response was misinformed. I still don't understand why I got so many downvotes though. – DanTheMan Aug 2 '15 at 17:15
  • 1
    I wish folks would take the time to leave feedback when they down vote. My guess would be that they feel the answer is either incorrect or incomplete. – ColleenV Aug 2 '15 at 20:33

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