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My German teacher explained this last year and I never really understood when to use "ins" and when to use "in", I know they are both two way prepositions but what's the difference?

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

Welcome to GL&U!

"Ins" is a contraction of "in das". So, whenever you have a situation where you would say "in das", then you could use "ins" instead.

Wir gehen in das Haus. = Wir gehen ins Haus.

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I'd go further and say that Wir gehen in das Kino sounds quite awkward and you have to use the contraction Wir gehen ins Kino. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 11 '12 at 7:54
@HendrikVogt: What sounds awkward to you? Nobody has to use "ins", just because it is possible. I don't understand why there are 7 upvotes on this misguiding hint. Die Einsicht in das bürgerlich aufklärerische Element Homers ist von der spätromantisch-deutschen Interpretation der Antike, die Nietzsches frühen Schriften folgte, unterstrichen worden. Theodor W. Adorno, Dialektik d. Aufklärung. – user unknown Mar 11 '12 at 19:18
@HendrikVogt and user unknown: I was merely trying to answer the specific question, not overload John with too many explanations. Perhaps I could have chosen a better example that wouldn't lead into a whole different discussion. Thanks for your input. – Kevin Mar 11 '12 at 23:37
@user: Ich glaube langsam, wir sind uns einig. Manchmal heißt es "ins", manchmal "in das", je nach Kontext, und manchmal ist es egal. – Hendrik Vogt Mar 12 '12 at 21:10
@Feroc: "ins" is always referring to a specific instance, if it really did not matter you would use "in ein" instead. It seems to me that the lacking use of "in das" in many cases just makes it sound awkward while it should really be equivalent by definition. – H.B. Mar 13 '12 at 14:07

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