1. Rika
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    Rika New Member

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    Prepositions, cakes and spoons

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Rika, Mar 6, 2012.

    Hello!

    I find the prepositions in English challenging and ran into a problem with them once again.

    The problem in its simpleness is this:

    This girl has a slice of cake on her plate and in the other hand she has a spoon.
    When she takes a piece from that cake does she put the spoon in the cake, to the cake or into the cake?

    Thank you for the possible answers.
    Have a nice day!
    -Rika
     
  2. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Contributing Member

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    "Into" is used when there is physical movement from out to in. spoon into cake. The witch turned him in to a frog.
     
  3. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    I also think it's "into."

    Putting the spoon "in" the cake sounds like she just sticks the spoon down into the center of the cake and leaves it there.
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Into is the preferred preposition for an actin that begins ouside of the object of the preposition, and ends inside. It need not be a physical movement. You can refer to an innovation whose effects are felt into the future, for example.

    The prepositin in is most often applied to a static condition of immersion or enclosure. It's in the bag. You are in my thoughts.

    An exception is when you are passing something into the interior of something else, but also using the preposition to to indicate a stopping point. Rather than saying into and to right next to each other, the into is shortened to in:

    He jabbed the knife in to a depth of six inches.

    In this case, the penetrated medium is omitted from the sentence, probably already established by context. It you do specify the medium, it would probably separate the two preposistions, and you would go back to into:

    He jabbed the knife into the blubber to a depth of six inches.

    .....

    He poked the thermometer in to the bone.

    Note that this has a different meeting if you join in and to to a single word:

    He poked the thermometer into the bone.

    In the first case, the thermometer stops at the surface of the bone, whereas in the second case, the bone is penetrated.
     
  5. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    first of all, most people eat cake with a fork [even a specific 'cake fork'], not a spoon...

    secondly, why do you think you have describe someone eating a piece of cake with such boring, tiresome detail?...

    that said, if you must, try what's usually said, such as with this:

    'She dug into the slab of cake with her spoon, deposited a huge hunk of it in her mouth, and proceeded to choke on it!'
     
  6. Rika
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    Rika New Member

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    It came to my mind and stayed there haunting me, this problem-not-anymore. And I had to explain it somehow.
    I didn't say I'd write it like that (Though I might do so... :rolleyes: ) But I'll think about that, too. 'Dig into'

    Thanks for the advices :)

    PS. If I eat cake, I eat it with a spoon. Or fingers. It depends on the situation.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can't imagine anyone eating cake with a spoon, instead of a fork [unless it's a 'runcible spoon' a la 'the owl and the pussycat'... which is as much fork as spoon... called a 'spork' by the KFC folks]... but fingers, yes! [if it's a nice, firm texture and not totally covered in gooey icing, that is]...
     

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