AP Style In, Into

What is the difference between “in” and “into?”

In indicates location. For example,

  • He was in the room.
  • The killer was in the house.

Into indicates motion. For example,

  • She walked into the room.
  • The killer walked into the kitchen.

When to Use a Hyphen With “In”


Precede “in” with a hyphen. For example,

  • break-in
  • cave-in
  • walk-in
  • write-in
  • drive-in
  • sit-in


No hyphens are used when “in” means “not.” For example,

  • inaccurate
  • insufferable

Other uses without a hyphen

  • inbound
  • indoor
  • infield
  • infighting
  • inpatient (n., adj.)
  • inboard

There are a few combinations that do take a hyphen, however. For example,

  • in-depth
  • in-group
  • in-house
  • in-law

If you are ever in doubt on whether or not to use a hyphen, follow Webster’s New World College Dictionary.

When Something is “in”

When employed to indicate that something is in vogue, use quotations mark only if followed by a noun. For example,

  • It was the “in” thing to do back then.


  • Raccoon coats are in again.

Inasmuch as

AP Style holds that this is two words.


Leave a Comment