In vs Within

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What’s the difference between them?



denotes being inside or part of something, indicating inclusion or location.


1. He's in the park now.

2. TV in is the box near you.

3. She was in the library for the majority of the day.



signifies inside a specific boundary or timeframe, emphasizing a confined space or time frame.


1. I need to finish this task within the next hour.

2. I need to stay within the designated area.

3. She plans to stay within the budget.

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Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "In", "Within".

1. The preposition 'in' is used to denote a certain location, either physical or abstract. It is used to show the relationship between two things, where one thing is inside of another.

2. The preposition 'within' is used to denote something closer or more limited in scope than 'in.' It is used to show that something is contained within a certain range or period of time.

3. Use 'within' when discussing a range or limit (e.g., Please respond within 24 hours).

4. Use 'in' when referring to a simple location without implying a range or limit (e.g., She is in the garden).

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Frequently asked questions

When to use the first word 'In'?

The word 'In' is used to indicate position or location within something, usually indicating physical movement or an area which is not further specified. For example, 'He will be in the office in 30 minutes' or 'John put the pen in the drawer'.

When to use the second word 'Within'?

The word 'Within' is used to indicate a period of time or specific distance. For example, 'I need to finish this by within the hour' or 'the restaurant is within walking distance'.

Do the words have the same pronunciation?

No, the words do not have the same pronunciation. The word 'In' is pronounced as /in/ whereas the word 'Within' is pronounced as /wɪˈðɪn/

What are common mistakes associated with words 'In' and 'Within'?

One common mistake associated with the words 'In' and 'Within' is the incorrect use of one over the other. For example, using 'Within' to indicate a position instead of 'In' or using 'In' to indicate a time frame instead of 'Within'. Another common mistake is mispronunciation, as mentioned earlier.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. We want to finish this project _______ two weeks.

2. Our team is _______ the same department.

3. You can find the documents _______ this folder.

4. She arrived _______ ten minutes.

5. His car is _______ the parking lot.

6. We need to make a decision _______ the next few days.

1. Within

Explanation: within indicates a period of time limited to two weeks.

2. Within

Explanation: within implies that the team members are in the same department or space.

3. In

Explanation: in indicates that the documents are located inside the folder.

4. Within

Explanation: within indicates that she arrived within a period of ten minutes or less.

5. In

Explanation: in implies that the car is located inside or within the parking lot.

6. Within

Explanation: within indicates that a decision needs to be made within a period of a few days.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.