Common Preposition Combinations with “IN” in English

A prepositional phrase is a group of words containing a preposition, a noun or pronoun object of the preposition, and any modifiers of the object...


1. In a hurry

Meaning: Rushed, hurried; short of time

E.g. I can’t stop now. I'm in a hurry.

2. In a lather

Meaning: In a state of nervousness or anxiety

E.g. She was in a lather because she couldn't find her passport.

3. In a minute

Meaning: Within a short time, very soon

E.g. Clean the kitchen, your grandma's coming in a minute.

4. In a nutshell

Meaning: In summary; briefly or simply

E.g. He had a lot to say, but his answer, in a nutshell, was no.

5. In a row

Meaning: Successively, one after the other

E.g. After making losses four years in a row, the manager knew she had to sack someone.

6. In a row

Meaning: Placed in a straight line

E.g. Bottles of every type of alcohol they had were lined up in a row behind the bar.

7. In absentia

Meaning: While not present; while absent

E.g. The defendant was convicted in absentia after fleeing during the trial.

8. In action

Meaning: In operation

E.g. Seeing a steam engine in action is increasingly rare.

9. In action

Meaning: In combat

E.g. He was wounded in action in his second tour.

10. In advance

Meaning: Beforehand

E.g. The money was paid in advance.

11. In agreement

Meaning: Of one mind; thinking alike

E.g. I am in agreement with you as far as the basic design, but not with the colour scheme you suggest.

12. In agreement

Meaning: Confirmatory; matching

E.g. The results are in agreement with the calculated figures.

13. In all honesty

Meaning: Honestly; in truth

E.g. I didn't get a girlfriend, though in all honesty, I'm still undecided whether I really want to have one.

14. In all my born days

Meaning: Ever

E.g. I've never seen such an ugly man in all my born days.

15. In bed

Meaning: While on a bed

E.g. Reading in bed and breakfasting in bed are two of my three favorite activities.

16. In bed

Meaning: In terms of sexual prowess

E.g. She wasn't kind or smart, attractive or even funny. Her only redeeming feature was that she was fantastic in bed.

17. In black and white

Meaning: Explicitly, in writing, clearly and without doubt or misunderstanding, without any grey areas

E.g. I'll believe that when I see it in black and white.

18. In black and white

Meaning: Using shades of grey/gray rather than colour/color

E.g. This film was shot in black and white.

19. In business

Meaning: Ready to proceed in a desired activity

E.g. I finally got the vents back from the chrome shop.  Now you're in business!

20. In character

Meaning: Acting as the character, not as oneself

E.g. It was difficult to stay in character because I kept wanting to laugh.

21. In charge

Meaning: Having the responsibility of leading or overseeing

E.g. He left his daughter in charge of watching her younger sisters.

22. In charge

Meaning: Having the power of command or control

E.g. This internet browser puts you in charge of your personal settings.

23. In common

Meaning: Shared with one or more others

E.g. My cousin and I have a grandfather and grandmother in common.

24. In common

Meaning: Possessing similar or identical qualities

E.g. I hate being alone with my boss as we have nothing in common.

25. In condition

Meaning: Fit, healthy

E.g. I was not yet in condition, according to the doctors.

26. In condition

Meaning: In a state suitable for an intended task

E.g. He was getting in condition for the race.

27. In control

Meaning: Exercising control over a machine, vehicle, situation etc.

E.g. The General said that his troops were now in control of the situation.

28. In court

Meaning: Inside of a courthouse, for a legal trial

E.g. See you in court!

29. In defense

Meaning: Defend oneself, defensively

E.g. The judge asserted that Mr Brown killed his victim in defense, and not maliciously.

30. In detail

Meaning: Thoroughly; including every detail; with all particulars

E.g. I do not understand it; would you please explain it to me in detail.

31. In due course

Meaning: When the time is right; presently

E.g. The kitchen will be painted in due course.

32. In duplicate

Meaning: Consisting of two copies

E.g. This contract is in duplicate.

33. In effect

Meaning: Operating or functioning; in force; in play

E.g. Until the new guidelines come out, the old rules are still in effect.

34. In error

Meaning: By accident

E.g. The cheque was sent in error.

35. In evidence

Meaning: Visibly present; noticeable

E.g. The usual managerial incompetence was in evidence in yesterday's meeting.

36. In excess of

Meaning: More than

E.g. We spent in excess of £5,000 on repairs to the storm-damaged roof.

37. In exchange

Meaning: As an exchange or replacement

E.g. I took my old phone back to the shop, and they gave me a new one in exchange.

38. In exchange

Meaning: Reciprocate

E.g. If I help you with your work, what will you do in exchange.

39. In fact

Meaning: Actually, in truth

E.g. People think tomatoes are vegetables, but, in fact, they are fruits.

40. In focus

Meaning: Clearly perceived

E.g. As he spoke the plan became in focus.

41. In force

Meaning: With a substantial number of men capable of exerting force or of making a show of force

E.g. The police arrived in force at dawn to raid the drug lab.

42. In force

Meaning: With a substantial display of resources

E.g. They made the presentation in force to try to impress the client.

43. In force

Meaning: In effect; applicable

E.g. Some of the old laws against treason are no longer in force.

44. In front

Meaning: In the position ahead. Often with of

E.g. The leader, Jones, is well in front.

45. In front

Meaning: In the position where it can be seen

E.g. Put your hands in front of you, on the desk.

46. In front

Meaning: In the position opposite

E.g. Sit in front of the computer.

47. In front

Meaning: In the position nearest

E.g. Put your book in front where it will be easier to reach.

48. In front

Meaning: In the most forward position

E.g. This car will seat two people in front and three in the back.

49. In full

Meaning: Fully; to the whole extent

E.g. My creditors insist on being repaid in full before the end of the month.

50. In goal

Meaning: As a goalkeeper

E.g. After Chelsea had two goalkeepers injured in one match, their captain went in goal for the last few minutes.

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Common Preposition Combinations with “IN” in English

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