Below sentence is a conversation of Hermione in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secret.

Slytherin lead: A gift from Draco's father.

Draco: You see, Weasley, unlike some, my father can afford the best.

Hermione: At least no one on the Gryffindor team had "to buy their way in". They got in on pure talent.

Draco: No one asked your opinion, you filthy little Mudblood.

What is the role of in on?

Does it mean the same as

They got pure talent.

In addition to that what is the meaning of the phrase "to buy their way in"

I know conversation differs from the grammar. Is it possible to use the same in written form? It would be more helpful if someone explains this with examples.

Note: Additional information has been added, and one more question is also raised.

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    The two don't go together. They got in (I don't know what they got into, you give no context), and how they got in was on pure talent, meaning they got in because they had pure talent. If I would get into a country while walking, you could say I got in on foot. Your sentence could be rewritten as They got in because of their talent. – oerkelens Aug 3 '16 at 12:04
  • @oerkelens Additional information has been added – ARYF Aug 4 '16 at 3:48
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    They got in on pure talent = They got in based on (or: by means of) pure talent – Alan Carmack Aug 4 '16 at 5:45
  • Then, what does "They got pure talent" mean? Does it mean the same? – ARYF Aug 4 '16 at 7:17
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    They got pure talent just means they have talent. It does not mean the same. The original sentence says they gor in (became part of the team) because of their talent. Buying your way in means you get into something because you pay for it (as opposed to getting in because of your talent). – oerkelens Aug 4 '16 at 8:30

To get in is a phrasal verb meaning to obtain access to.

It does not mean the same as to get, which generally means to acquire an object, among several other meanings - although to get in X does mean to acquire access to X.

(Note that to get X in Y can also mean to move X inside of Y, with X defaulting to yourself if not specified. It does not mean that here, though.)

A meaning of X on Y is the same as X by Y with an added implication that X happened because of Y. Similar to saying X based on Y.

She got in the club on her appearance = She got in the club by her appearance; her appearance caused her to get in the club = She got in the club based on her appearance.

He got in school on his father's name = He got in school by his father's name; his father's name (and not his academic performance) caused him to get in the school...

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  • Thanks for your answer. I have added some more information to the question. Still, does your answer is same? If possible please answer my second question. – ARYF Aug 4 '16 at 3:52

not an expert on English but.... My inner feelings tell me on and in are not together in your sentence.

I mean in belongs to got => got in: was chosen for the team

and on belongs to pure talent => on pure talent: for their talent

They was chosen for their talent not for fathers gift to team leaders

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  • You're right about on and in not being part of the same expression, but there are many other errors in your text, and that main point was covered by a much earlier answer, so I don't think this one serves much purpose. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 5 '16 at 2:14
  • what kind of errors?? show them please. and my english not that good i am not able to understand first answer – Webber Depor Aug 5 '16 at 2:17
  • If you can't see errors in They was chosen for their talent not for fathers gift to team leaders perhaps you could post a question asking for help (but try to avoid presenting it as a "proofreading" question). If you can't understand @LawrenceC's answer you're exactly the kind of user we need to post comments asking for clarification. Native speakers don't always understand where and why learners have difficulty, so if you ask for clarification this may lead to improving edits to the answer - which will benefit other future visitors, not just you. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Aug 5 '16 at 12:01

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