A preposition is a word which describes the relationship between an object and another word, object, or element in the sentence. The word ‘in’ as a preposition means many different things.
- a period of time in the past or future
It’s due in 3 weeks.
The bus arrives in 6 minutes.
I’m moving house in the morning.
I bought this in March.
- how certain things happen or are done
In a bad mood.
In a pickle.
In a hurry.
In a deep sleep.
- to be surrounded by or enclosed in something
In a pot.
In the bin.
In the fridge.
in preposition of time
The preposition ‘in’ is used for centuries, decades, years, months, and weeks and is used for bigger and more general times and dates.
- Smoking was banned in February.
- I’ve lived in 14 different decades.
- I started farming in 2005.
- Cannons were used in the 12th century.
- I can retire in 3 years.
- My baby is due in 3 weeks.
Let’s take a look at some more examples of how ‘in’ can be used as a preposition of time.
In a month, in a season, in a year, or in a week.
- I’m going to Switzerland in April.
- The flowers start to bloom in spring.
- My visa expires in 2027.
- Our exams start in 3 weeks.
In the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, or in the night.
- I brush my teeth in the morning.
- I start work in the afternoon.
- I’m going to a pantomime in the evening.
- I hope the cat doesn’t wake me up in the night.
In time (within time).
- I got back just in time for the rugby.
- I arrived in time to catch the start of the play.
In a length of time (seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, or years)
- He downed the beer in a few seconds.
- The ambulance arrived in minutes.
- School starts in an hour.
- I haven’t eaten in days.
- I’ve lost a stone in 3 weeks.
- We’re getting married in 3 months.
- I haven’t smoked in 4 years.
in prepositions of manner
The preposition ‘in’ is used to show how certain things happen or are done.
- Tom won’t play chess as he is in a bad mood.
- The roof is leaking, the house is in a right pickle.
- The baby had lots of visitors today, he’s now in a deep sleep.
- Gary overslept, he’s in a hurry to get to work.
Let’s take a look at some more examples of how ‘in’ can be used as a preposition of manner.
In a good, bad, silly mood etc.
- Tina won £150 on the lottery, she’s in a good mood today.
- I’m in a bad mood because my boyfriend dumped me.
- The kids are in a silly mood today, grandad gave them too many sweets.
In a rush, or hurry
- Albie is in a rush to get to the church on time.
- I’m in a hurry to get home before the ice cream melts.
in prepositions of place
The preposition ‘in’ means to be surrounded by or enclosed in something.
- The cactus is in a pot.
- I put the dirty nappies in the bin outside.
- Reece has been in jail for 18 years
- I’ve put the beers in the fridge ready for the match.
Let’s take a look at some more examples of how ‘in’ can be used as a preposition of place.
In bed (under the covers).
- There’s a storm brewing, I’m staying in bed all day.
- Max found his wife in bed with another man.
- The dog has his jabs today, i expect he’ll be in bed for the rest of the day.
In countries, states, cities, towns, villages, and neighbourhoods.
- I want to live in the UK when i grow up.
- I’ve lived in Texas and Arkansas.
- Mike and Jo want to live in a city.
- I’ve always lived in this town.
- The past office is in the village.
- There is always a lot of crime in my neighbourhood.
In a building, room, or garden.
- Let’s go in this shoe shop.
- I think your glasses are in the dining room.
- The sun has finally come out, let’s go and play swing ball in the garden.
In water e.g. a pool, sea, or river (if submerged).
- The kids are in the pool so mum can relax and read her book.
- Don’t go in the sea today, there are lots of jellyfish around.
- There’s a family of otters splashing around in the river.
In a book, newspaper, letter, magazine, photo, or picture.
- Chapter 4 is by far the best in this book.
- I read in the newspaper that there is a killer on the loose.
- He said in his letter that the war won’t be over for some time.
- My article will be in the magazine next week.
- You look really fat in that photo.
- Who is that man next to you in the picture?
In a line, row, or queue.
- Stand in line and wait for your name to be called.
- We’re in row C, seats 12 and 13.
- We’ve been in the queue for 25 minutes and it hasn’t moved an inch.
In the sky, world, or universe.
- Look! There is an eagle in the sky.
- That Mexican restaurant in town is the best in the world for sure.
- How many planets are there in the universe?
In hospital, or jail (implies you are sick or in trouble).
- My dad is in jail, he committed a really serious crime.
- My nan is in hospital, I don’t think she’ll ever come out.
In the middle.
- Who wants to play piggy in the middle with me?
- I have a huge spot right in the middle of my chin.
In a car, taxi, or helicopter.
- Get in the car, we’re going to be late for school.
- I’m in the taxi now, I’ll be there in 10 minutes.
- I’ve won a free ride in a helicopter.
In a corner (if you are inside a room).
- Nobody puts Baby in the corner.
- Michael, go and stand in the corner and face the wall until I say so.