Inbetween or In Between: Which is Correct?

Inbetween or In Between: Which is Correct?

The Cambridge Dictionary defines 'in between' as a phrase describing the intermediate position or condition lying between two other points, objects, periods, or states.

On the other hand, 'inbetween' is a nonstandard usage of the phrase 'in between' and is not the correct spelling of the term.

Let's take a quick look at the difference between inbetween and in between.

What Does In Between Mean?

The phrase "in between" is used to indicate a location or position that is situated between two entities.

When using "in between" in its nonhyphenated form, it turns into a noun phrase that doesn't modify another noun (such as a subject noun or proper noun) in the sentence.

It is commonly used to describe something that exists or occurs within the spatial or temporal interval separating two entities.

The primary difference between "in between" and "inbetween" is that the only acceptable spellings are "in between" or "in-between," rendering "inbetween" an unacceptable usage.

Why Do People Use the Incorrect Spelling "Inbetween?"

Now we know that "inbetween" is part of the English language's usage errors, but why is the misspelling inbetween so common? There are a few reasons why this happens:

  • Informality and Colloquialism: People often use "inbetween" in casual conversations or informal writing simply because it might feel more natural or conversational. Language is dynamic, and informal variations can emerge and gain acceptance over time.
  • Space Constraints: In certain situations where space is limited, such as in text messages, social media posts, or hashtags, people might use "inbetween" as a shorthand to save characters. This is common in digital communication where brevity is valued.
  • Typos: In fast-paced digital communication, typing quickly or on small devices can lead to unintentional errors, and "inbetween" might be a result of a typo rather than a deliberate choice.

In Between Usage & Sentence Examples

Now that you know the proper usage of this phrase, let's check a couple of sentence examples of "in between" in common phrases:

  1. The dog is sitting in between the two pillows.
  2. Our flight departs in between morning and afternoon.
  3. The hotel is in between the bank and the post office.
  4. His opinion is somewhere in between agreement and disagreement.
  5. The movie starts in between 3:00 PM and 4:00 PM.
  6. We found a cozy spot in between the tall trees.
  7. The compromise lies in between the two proposals.
  8. The temperature is in between warm and cool.
  9. The car is parked in between the garage and the house.

In-Between vs. In Between: What's the Difference?

The term 'in-between' is hyphenated only when used as a compound adjective that alters a noun's meaning.

The hyphen emphasizes how the noun is in a middle or transitional state, showing different aspects based on the context.

Therefore, "in-between" and "in between" are indeed two different terms that vary the meaning of sentences based on the context.

When to Use In-Between and In Between in Writing

Use in-between only as a compound adjective, and use in between as a noun phrase. Let's take a look at a couple of examples of in-between to understand how to use it:

  1. Being a teenager is challenging because it's the in-between time from being a kid to a grown-up.
  2. Her decision was somewhat in-between, trying to find a balance between different things.
  3. The best time to enjoy the quiet garden is in-between the sun setting and rising.
  4. The project is currently in an in-between state, awaiting approval.
  5. At times, the moon resembles a banana during its in-between phases.
  6. The old town is nestled in the in-between spaces of the mountains, creating a picturesque setting.
  7. In some parts of the story, the main character changes a lot during the in-between parts.
  8. Life is filled with in-between experiences, through which we learn and grow.

In summary, "in-between" is used to modify or describe a noun, while "in between" is used to express the idea of something being situated or occurring between two entities, either as a noun or within a larger noun phrase.

Wrapping Up: Should You Write "Inbetween" or "In Between?"

There you have it -the correct way to spell this phrase is "in between," or, in any case, "in-between."

As a general rule, "inbetween" is incorrect and should never be used, as it constitutes a grammatical error.

In-between and in between both have similar meanings, with 'in between' being the more popular spelling choice for this term. Use the hyphenated form of the word only if the phrase modifies a noun, and use in between when used as a complete noun phrase.