Admin

Real estate grammar: in vs. within

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

While reading an article about the benefits of staging, I came across a sentence that said, in part: “…so buyers can see themselves living within the house.”good grammar matters

“Within the house” hit a jarring note, so of course I had to find out if it was “just me” or if that truly was the wrong word to use.

It wasn’t just me.

As it turns out, there are times when either word will do, However, according to  https://grammar.yourdictionary.com , “…“within” and “in” do have a few subtle differences that make one choice better than another.”

  • “Use “in” to show something definite, to substitute into and for inclusion.“
  • “Use “within” for an estimate or to show something inside boundaries.”

What the heck does that mean?

It means that the sentence that hit me wrong should have said “in the house.”

Here are some examples of the proper use of each:

  • The keys are in the car.
  • The salad is in the refrigerator.
  • I live in Idaho.
  • My notebook is in the house.
  • You are in big trouble. (Can you envision telling one of your children that they are within big trouble?)
  • Go jump in the lake. (Substitute for into.)
  • Joe is in the military (shows inclusion)

Within is a word that provides boundaries in either time or place.

  • Please reply within 3 days.
  • We will arrive within 4 hours.
  • Dogs are not allowed within the fenced area.
  • Never store toxic products within the reach of toddlers.

Such errors are small, and many would not notice them. But for communication is the goalthose who DO notice, they’re like stop signs in the middle of the copy. And stop signs, as we know, halt the flow.

Our goal should always be to let the words “disappear,” leaving behind only the ideas we want to convey.

That means: No stop signs!

Comments(22)

Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michael Jacobs And it's even terrific when trivial information is easily available. It's fun to learn goofy things that really don't matter to our lives. It also makes it easier to get the correct answers on Brain Candy quizzes!

Mar 31, 2023 04:49 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Marte- once again you are helping us stay on track. I have to admit that I still have times when I have to think is it "effect" or "affect."  My grammar is not perfect but I admit to shaking my head when I read "Me and Bobby...." or other mishaps that are like fingernails on the chalkboard for me. 

Mar 31, 2023 05:05 PM
Michael Jacobs

Kathy Streib - unless, of course, it's Me and Bobby McGee - right?  

Mar 31, 2023 05:40 PM
Marte Cliff

Kathy Streib I recently finished reading a novel in which some of the characters consistently said "Me and.... " did whatever. I'm sure the author was trying to paint a picture of the people, but every time I saw it was, as you say, like fingernails on the chalkboard.

Mar 31, 2023 06:10 PM
Kathy Streib

Michael Jacobs truth be told, I was humming that song in my head when I wrote that!!! 

Marte Cliff you and I are on the same page. 

Apr 01, 2023 05:41 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Michael Jacobs Testing ourselves is the only way to grow!

Mar 31, 2023 06:11 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

All I can say is Across the River the boat the man came:)) and you heard me say this before, that is just from a person that English is their third language .... forgive me:)Endre

Mar 31, 2023 10:00 PM
Marte Cliff

Endre Barath, Jr. I've said it before and I'll say it again: I think you do very well.

Apr 01, 2023 08:14 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Marte... I thank my lucky stars all the time that grammar was instilled in me by my fourth grade teacher... I've never forgotten those lessons and fortunately don't struggle with issues like knowing when to use "in" or "within."

Apr 01, 2023 04:57 AM
Marte Cliff

Nina Hollander, Broker It helps to have a good grounding. I don't recall any specific teachers - except for my Mother and my Grandmother.

Apr 01, 2023 08:15 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Good tip! I think I use "within" and "in" correctly, but now I'll be extra careful!

Apr 01, 2023 05:45 AM
Marte Cliff

Kat Palmiotti When it's wrong, it just feels a bit jarring. So you'll know!

Apr 01, 2023 08:15 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 01, 2023 06:57 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank  you Kathy Streib - being included is always an honor.

Apr 01, 2023 07:59 PM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I guess I don't use "within" often. Interesting that you saw it wasn't right and did the research for the rest of us! Thanks for sharing.

Apr 02, 2023 07:31 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Sharon Tara I don't use it often either. Or, if I do, I don't notice it!

Apr 02, 2023 07:55 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Marte,
Another excellent lesson. My biggest grammar pet peeve is still when people write "your" for "you're".

Apr 02, 2023 08:30 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Carol Williams That one is annoying, but I think my biggest grammar pet peeve is the misuse of "myself."

Apr 02, 2023 08:53 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Marte,
I amend my comment. I cringe most at the misuse of "me" and "I". It's everywhere, even in song titles!

Apr 02, 2023 09:04 AM
Marte Cliff

Carol Williams My old neighbor, who was a retired teacher and prided himself on his vocabulary, always used to say he had to get home to "Cook dinner for Hazel and I." I always had to bite my tongue not to correct him.

Apr 02, 2023 11:01 AM
Hannah Williams
HomeStarr Realty - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-820-3376

Marte Cliff , I understand what you are saying. If I worry that much about grammar I would not express myself. I try my best to post and yes sometimes I will make grammar mistakes. I am not writing a thesis it is a blog. Thank you for the tips   Glad Kathy Streib Featured this as I missed it    

Apr 02, 2023 10:25 AM
Marte Cliff

Hannah Williams Everyone makes a mistake now and then, but we do need to try to avoid them.

Apr 02, 2023 11:02 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Grammar continues to change.  We all make mistakes. Today for those in a local community college majoring in English, they do not diagram sentences. Lack of knowledge can be part of the poor grammar.

Apr 03, 2023 07:51 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Leanne Smith It's interesting what they no longer teach. Not that I was ever good at diagramming sentences! It bothers me that cursive is no longer taught. What if a few of those students grow up and want to be historians? They won't be able to read old documents.

Of course, texting doesn't help. Kids (and some adults) are getting used to using sentence fragments, abbreviations, etc. Sure does make for easily misunderstood communication!

Apr 03, 2023 07:56 AM
Leanne Smith

So true, I do not like texting.

Apr 03, 2023 08:00 AM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

You certainly do keep us on our toes. Thank you, for these tips.

Apr 03, 2023 08:59 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Thank you Dr. Paula McDonald. When I see a grammar/word usage question that I'm unsure about, I think perhaps others are unsure as well. Looking it up and writing about it ensures that I'll remember, too!

Apr 03, 2023 09:04 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

This is an excellent lesson to share. All of us need to be very careful with our writing.

Have a great day and a very special weekend.

Apr 07, 2023 10:02 AM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Roy Kelley Thanks - this is just a tiny error, but it can create a jarring note - and thus an interruption. Depending upon the topic, that could be important.

Apr 07, 2023 12:41 PM