This time, we are going to learn all there is about 'inside. Are you ready? Come join me, then.

How To Use "Inside" in English

'Inside' is very common in the English language. It can be a noun, an adjective, an adverb, and a preposition. In this lesson, we will discuss how to learn and use it.

Functions of 'Inside'

'Inside' as a Preposition

One of the main functions of 'inside' is to be a preposition. Below, we are going to learn about the different kinds of prepositions it can be:


'Inside' as a Preposition of Place

We can use 'inside' as a preposition of place to show that something is in another thing/person. Look at the following examples:

Deep inside the tunnel, he found a door that lead to another realm.

I could hear strange voices inside my head.

'Inside' as a Preposition of Time

We can also use 'inside' as a preposition of time when we want to show that something will be over in less than the time specified. Look at the examples below for more understanding:

I don't think we will be able to finfish this whole project inside a month.

If you practice an hour every day, you can be a vocalist inside a year.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'inside' is a preposition, it mainly comes before nouns and noun phrases to modify them. However, we can have 'inside' at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the sentence. Check out the following examples:

Inside the womb, the baby grows for nine months.

Here, we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence.

Tom, hidden inside the closet, held his breath so as not to make a sound.

As you can see, we have a prepositional phrase in the middle of the sentence here.

Tom Riddle had written many of his secrets inside his diary.

Here, there is a prepositional phrase at the end of the statement.


Please note that whenever we have a prepositional phrase at the beginning of the sentence, it must always be followed by a comma. Also, if it is in the middle, it must be put between two commas.

'Inside' as an Adjective

As stated above, 'inside' can also function as an adjective. Below, we will analyze the kinds of adjectives it cam be:


'Inside' as an Attributive Adjective

When we are using 'inside' as an adjective, it only comes before nouns. So, it is an attributive adjective. Look at the following list to learn all about its different meanings:

  • When we want to about the internal parts of something, we use 'inside':

These trousers also have big, handy inside pockets.

As it is clear, it only comes before nouns, not after them.

The inside pages of this magazine have nothing interesting for me.

  • When we want to talk about someone in a particular group, we use 'inside':

Many people would want to know the inside story of the murder case, though.

Position in a Sentence

As mentioned above, 'inside' can only function as an attributive adjective. It only comes before nouns and modifies them. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

He pulled out a pack of cigarettes from his left inside pocket.

She showed me the inside hall where they had had supper earlier.

'Inside' as an Adverb

Interestingly, 'inside' can be an adverb, too. Below, we will examine the kinds of adverbs it can be:


'Inside' as an Adverb of Place

We can use 'inside' as an adverb of place to show that someone is in a particular place or area. Also, it can be used metaphorically which means that we can talk about how we feel and what we think about, using 'inside'. Look at the following examples for more clarification:

Although she pretended not to care, she was deeply hurt inside.

Jeremy said he had heard a loud cry from inside.

We can also use 'inside' to show that someone is in prison. Look below:

They were inside for five years.

Position in a Sentence

Since 'inside' is an adverb here, it mainly comes after adjectives, verbs, and other adverbs and modifies them. Look at the following examples for more understanding:

Didn't mom tell you to stay inside?

We all have a wounded inner child inside and we'd better heal her/him.

'Inside' as a Noun


As stated above, 'inside' can also be a noun. Below, we have provided a list of all its meanings for you:

  • When we are referring to the internal part of something, we use 'inside':

The inside of the package was all muddy and dirty.

The cake is all blue and the inside consists of walnuts and chocolate chips.

  • When we are talking about the inner curve of a curved road, we use 'inside':

They're all riding up the inside.

  • We can use 'inside' in the plural form to refer to the internal organs:

Some killers take pleasure in removing the insides of their especially female victims.

She went to see a doctor in order to do something about the pain in her insides.

Position in a Sentence

As you know, nouns can be the subject, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition. Let us examine some examples below:

The inside of my throat hurts badly.

Here, 'inside' is the subject.

I'm going to see a doctor to see what He can do about this pain in my insides.

As you can see, 'insides' is the object of a preposition here.

Idioms and Expressions with 'Inside'

There are several idioms with 'inside' in the English language. Below, we are going to learn all about them. Look:

  • Inside out: When something is inside out, its outside is on the inside:

You mean you didn't realize that your jacket was inside out?

Interestingly, I can wear this hoodie from the inside out.

  • Know something inside out: When someone is totally familiar with something and knows everything about it, we use it:

Hannah seems to know Joe inside out.

I've lived here since childhood. I know this jungle inside out.

  • Turn a place inside out: When we want to search somewhere carefully, we use this one:

The police turned the neighborhood inside out, but there is still no trace of their daughter.

Funny how this little kid was able to turn the whole kitchen inside out in an instant.

  • On the inside: When someone's job is involved with secret information:

Judith was his spy on the inside.


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