Inn vs. In

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Inn and in are commonly confused words that are pronounced in the same way when spoken aloud but are spelled differently and mean different things, which makes them homophones. We will examine the different meanings of the homophonic words inn and in, the word origin of the terms, and some examples of their English usage in sentences.

An inn is a place where travelers may find rest and entertainment. In the United States, an inn is primarily a place of lodging, with amenities. In Britain, an inn may be a pub or a pub with accommodations. The word inn may be related to the Old Norse word inni, which means dwelling. The plural of inn is inns.

In means that something is included, not outside, it is part of or inside of something. In is used as a preposition, adjective, adverb, and sometimes a noun. In may refer to the location of something, either literally or figuratively. When used as a noun, in means to have access to power or to be included within an inner circle of power. In is derived from the Greek word, en.


Room at the Inn, an emergency homeless shelter, will host a volunteer social the first Sunday of every month. (The Mining Journal)

While the inn has both a fire alarm and fire suppression system, the Office of the State Fire Marshal has cited the facility for failing to update its systems as required by the code. (The Westerly Sun)

And yet, the old house reveals that while Mencken achieved his wide readership in journalism and literature, the place where he lived remains the chaste and unadorned home his cigar-making father bought in 1883. (The Baltimore Sun)

The sale is highest-priced home to ever sell in Newport Harbor, said Tim Smith of Coldwell Banker, the listing agent. (The Orange County Register)

About 16,000 years ago, on the banks of a river in western Idaho, people kindled fires, shaped stone blades and spearpoints, and butchered large mammals. (Science Magazine)

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