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Home > Language > Grammar > in and inside in English Grammar Compared

Difference Between in and inside in English Grammar

in vs inside in English Grammar

In and inside are two words used differently in terms of usage in English grammar although they appear to be alike. The preposition ‘in’ is used to describe the noun in the locative case as in the example ‘the horse is in the stable’. Here the preposition ‘in’ describes the location of the horse.

On the other hand the word ‘inside’ is used to convey the sense of ‘depth’ as in the sentence ‘the child is inside the house’. Here the word ‘inside’ conveys the sense of ‘depth’ and gives the idea that ‘the child is in the depth of the house’ or ‘well within the house’.

Hence it is understood that the word ‘inside’ is used as an emphasizing particle. It emphasizes the presence of something or an individual well within something. In the above example, the child is definitely understood to be in the house or is well within the house.

The word ‘inside’ carries with it the sense of ‘complication’ too as in the usage ‘the surgeon operated the inside of the brain’. Here the word ‘inside’ is used as a noun. The preposition ‘in’ is also used occasionally as a noun as in the expression ‘in and out’.

It is true that both the words ‘in’ and ‘inside’ are used to convey location but in different angles. While the preposition ‘in’ is used to convey the location in the direct sense, the word ‘inside’ is used to convey the location in the indirect sense.

Look at the two sentences, namely, ‘the book is in the shelf’ and ‘the lion is inside the forest’. There is a sense of absoluteness about the presence of the book in the shelf in the first sentence whereas there is the sense of abstractness about the presence of the lion in the forest.


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