into, onto and up to

When a verb with in (e.g., hand in, dive in) is followed by to, keep the in and the to separate. For example:

  • Jump in to see if it's cold.      
  • Hand it in to the police.

    Be aware though that some verbs can include the preposition into (e.g., dive in, dive into). These rules apply to verbs with on as well.

    Watch the verb turn into as it has two meanings: to move into somewhere and to transform something. For example:
    • To turn into the garage.
    • To turn into stone.
    To avoid ambiguity, use in to for the move into somewhere meaning. The issue with upto and up to is much easier. The word upto does not exist.
  • In To and Into

    The word into is a preposition. It is written as one word.

    Example: However, on occasion, the words in and to appear next to each other in a sentence, and writers are unsure whether to use into or in to. This happens when the verb in the sentence includes the word in (e.g., hand in, step in, turn in).

    Examples: More confusion arises with verbs like drive in, put in and fall in. This is because drive into, put into, and fall into are equally valid alternatives.


    On To and Onto

    The guidelines above apply equally to onto. It is noteworthy, however, that onto can mean on top of. When this causes a problem, use on to.


    Up To and Upto

    Finally, the easy one: up to is never written as one word.


    Writers should be wary of turn into because it has two meanings.

    Example: To avoid ambiguity, it is normal to write: Examples:

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    See Also

    What are prepositions? What are verbs? List of easily confused words