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join vs join in Options
robjen
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 9:36:20 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/17/2015
Posts: 417
Neurons: 2,366
I am not quite sure about how to use "join" and "join in" the correct way. I will make up a few sentences with them below.

(1a) I will join you for lunch today.
(1b) I will join in your lunch today.

(2a) I will join you for your birthday party.
(2a) I will join in your birthday party.

(3a) I will join the hunt for the missing child.
(3b) I will join in the hunt for the missing child.

(4a) I will join the campaign against violence.
(4b) I will join in the campaign against violence.


My non-native speaking friends think you join "someone" for "something". We believe that for (3) and (4), it doesn't matter whether or not you add "in". What are your comments on our opinion? Thanks a lot.



palapaguy
Posted: Tuesday, December 05, 2017 9:51:14 PM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 10/28/2013
Posts: 605
Neurons: 8,006
Location: Calabasas, California, United States
That's an excellent question.

"Join" is used in the sense of people personally meeting or working together. "I'll join you (and others-?) for lunch.

"Join in" is used to indicate people entering into a collective effort/activity. "I'll join in with the group."

Unfortunately this is not a strict rule, and there are exceptions/interpretations.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 1:03:13 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 27,484
Neurons: 153,389
Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
palapaguy is right.

You join a group or something rather concrete, but 'join in' an effort or attempt or game, etc (an action or something a bit abstract).

So for your four examples:
(1a) I will join you for lunch today. - OK
(1b) I will join in your lunch today. - not really

(2a) I will join you for your birthday party. - OK
(2a) I will join in your birthday party. - not really - it could be "I will join in the fun at your birthday party."

(3a) I will join the hunt for the missing child. - OK (The hunt is a group of people working together)
(3b) I will join in the hunt for the missing child. - OK (The hunt is the action of the attempt to find the child)

(4a) I will join the campaign against violence.
(4b) I will join in the campaign against violence.

Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
nebra
Posted: Wednesday, December 06, 2017 2:10:30 AM

Rank: Member

Joined: 7/21/2016
Posts: 78
Neurons: 12,289
Here's a little song you can all join in with : )
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c0DMXRKGhbY

My replies to grammar questions are based on American English (AE), of which I'm a native speaker.
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