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'the right way' vs. 'in the right way'


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20:58 Mar 21, 2007
This question was closed without grading. Reason: No acceptable answer

English to English translations [PRO]
Idioms / Maxims / Sayings / Social Services
English term or phrase: 'the right way' vs. 'in the right way'
"To do it IN the right way" feels a bit awkward to me but appears acceptable and in moderately wide usage, although "do it the right way" turns up about 10 times more hits in Google.

I'm looking for a definitive reference on the question but am failing so far.

Could somebody point me to one?

Thanks a million!
Alexander Demyanov
Local time: 20:51

Summary of answers provided
3 +7the right way
Melanie Nassar
3I'd say the original expression was "in the right way"

Discussion entries: 7



16 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
the right way

Without "in" is my preference, but perhaps a concrete example would be useful. My gut feeling is that in most cases, you don't need the in, but I have no references other than the instincts of a native speaker.
I hear "in the right way" often, maybe it comes from mixing up "in the right manner."

BTW, one of my pet peeves is hearing "IN two weeks from now", where I feel that the IN is superfluous, but I've heard it even on BBC, so somebody must think it's OK.

Melanie Nassar
United States
Local time: 03:51
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8
Notes to answerer
Asker: All the same expriences and similar feelings here. That's why I'm looking for a reference for some explanation of the rule.

Asker: Sorry, have to take back part of the above note. I believe "in 2 weeks " just has a bit diff meaning from "2 weeks from now", so its "from now" that seems unneeded in the former case.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Richard Benham: Definitely better in most cases. I am sure someone will think of an example where you need "in".... "In two weeks from now" is barbaric. Either "in two weeks" or "two weeks from now"....
6 mins
  -> Thanks... wow, barbaric... well, in two weeks, I will be heading from the Mideast to the Midwest and maybe I will find some more gems for my collection.

agree  Gayle Wallimann
1 hr

agree  Robert Fox
2 hrs

agree  ugrankar
2 hrs

agree  Erich Ekoputra: Quality policy: do it the right way the first time!
5 hrs

agree  xxxAlfa Trans
7 hrs

agree  Cilian O'Tuama: or simply "right", i.e. "do it right!" (I mean, if you're gonna do it...)
1 day 2 hrs
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54 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
I'd say the original expression was "in the right way"

I can't find any "authority" reference, but I imagine that the original, correct English expression would have been: "to do something in a certain way" such as "to do something in the right way" meaning "in the right manner", which was later shortened to "to do something the right way", which now sounds more natural.

United Kingdom
Local time: 01:51
Native speaker of: Arabic
PRO pts in category: 12
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