Prepositions, despite being only a few letters long, sometimes determine what your sentence means. And, using different pronouns gives different meanings too. So, it’s important to know what you’re supposed to use. Like, should we use ‘influence on’ or ‘influence in’ in a particular context? Let’s see!
Influence On or Influence In – Which Is Correct?
‘Influence in’ and ‘influence on’ are both grammatically correct but mean slightly different things. ‘Influence in’ talks more about influencing something that’s inside or part of a particular thing. On the other hand, ‘influence on’ is more general and means influencing that thing in itself.
Because of the use of ‘in,’ we take the idea that ‘in’ means ‘inside’ and so, the influence is done inside something. On the other hand, ‘influence on’ uses ‘on’ which simply means a position on a surface.
To see the difference better, take a look at the examples below.
- She is a great influence in my life.
- She is a great influence on my life.
In the first sentence above, ‘influence in’ implies that the person’s influence is inside ‘my’ life, and maybe a particular part of it, all parts of it, or some parts of it. On the other hand, in the second sentence, ‘influence on’ implies that the person has an influence on ‘my’ life, in general, or simply in ‘my’ life myself.
Though there is a slight difference between the meaning of ‘influence in’ and ‘influence on,’ some use them interchangeably as they are usually understood to mean similarly. Unless the context needs to be specific whether the influence is ‘inside’ or ‘on,’ ‘influence in’ and ‘influence on’ are interchangeable with each other.
‘Influence on’ simply means having an effect on people or things. We use it when we want to be general without specifying what part or how the influence is. For example, ‘influence on our lives’ talks about the influence on our lives in general, not particular in what part.
Take a look at the example below.
- She has a great influence on the kids.
In the sentence above, ‘influence on’ implies that the person has a great influence on the kids in general, without specifying how or in what part of the kids’ lives, but simply on the kids.
Below are more examples of how to use ‘influence on’ in a sentence.
- Parents have a big influence on how kids grow up.
- Maya has been a bad influence on Nate.
- You should use your influence on people for promoting good things.
- What haters say does not have an influence on me.
- The health department has no influence on our healthcare and wellbeing.
- You have so much influence on her, Gray.
- She has been a good influence on me.
‘Influence in’ also means having an effect on people and things. We use it when we want to be specific about what parts are being influenced or how the influence is. For example, ‘influence in our lives’ specifies that the influence is in particular parts inside ‘our’ lives.
Take a look at the example below.
- The organization has an influence in the advocacies of its members.
In the sentence above, ‘influence in’ implies that the organization influences its members, specifically when it comes to their advocacies.
Below are more examples of how to use ‘influence in’ in a sentence.
- She has a lot of influence in the lives of the children.
- His influence in the way students handle their academics is something to applaud.
- I didn’t feel his influence in our lives.
- What was your father’s most significant influence in your life?
- Your influence in the way I live now is something I’m thankful for.
- Tracy has been a bad influence in Henry’s life.
- She was a good influence in school.
It is essential to note, however, that ‘influence in’ is significantly less common and accepted than ‘influence on’ which is the standard phrase. Nonetheless, it does not mean that ‘influence in’ is entirely incorrect.
Which Phrase Is Used the Most?
According to the Google Ngram Viewer, ‘influence on’ is generally used more often than ‘influence in.’
It is probably because ‘influence on’ is more general and is more applicable in any context, compared to ‘influence in’ which is a little bit more specific.
‘Influence in’ and ‘influence on’ are both grammatically correct but mean slightly different. ‘Influence in’ talks more about influencing something that’s inside a particular thing or about a particular part of that thing. ‘Influence on’ is more general and means influencing that thing in itself.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.