Interested in or on: Here’s the correct version (with 7 examples)

When you have a strong interest in a topic, would you say you’re interested in or interested on said topic? Today, we’ll be looking at what the two phrases mean, why the rules are what they are, how else you could say it, and where the word comes from anyway.

By the end of this article, you can be assured that you will never get it wrong again. The English language has many weird rules, but Grammarhow wants to make it just a little bit easier.

Is it “interested in” or “interested on”?

“Interested in” is correct. “interested on” is a grammatically incorrect phrase that makes no sense in the English language.

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Why do we say “interested in”?

At first glance, it might seem weird that we would describe ourselves as “interested in” something. After all, “in” is a prepositional phrase. It tells us where something is.

If the man is in the house, the man is surrounded by the house. However, because a topic isn’t a physical location, does it make sense for us to say “interested in”?

Yes. If you were to draw a box and write down all of your interests, the topic would be “in” that box. Or, you could say that something is in your “realm of interest”.

7 examples of sentences that use “interested in”

“In that case, the vendor was called as a witness to sustain the title of his vendee; his sale carried with it an implied warranty of title, which the witness was interested in sustaining.”

“The Revised Statutes as amended by chapter 696 of the Laws of 1881, section 1, provide that the clerk shall deposit in the box the names of the persons selected and returned as jurors, who are not interested in the lands.”

“He was interested in a great number of mercantile concerns in the state of New York.”

“If any member of the committee on grievances or on exactions, or his partnership or corporation shall be interested in any subject or controversy which shall come before such committee for action….”

“the Supreme Court held that the disqualifying interest was not merely such personal interest as appeared by the will itself, but such as existed by reason of the attesting witness being then interested in the religious or charitable institutions.”

“Massachusetts is deeply interested in the discharge of the public debts.”

“We were also very interested in determining staff members ‘ own priorities for news coverage and how their priorities might differ from management priorities.”

The multiple definitions of “in”

The exact definition of “in” can also be slightly confusing. But to help us, let’s take a look at some of the multiple meanings.

Preposition

I was in the box.

Time

I was born in 1998.

Expressing movement

I decided to come in when it started raining.

Being enclosed or surrounded and unable to get out

I was locked in the bathroom.

At home

I tried knocking, but you weren’t in.

Fashionable

White T-Shirts are very in right now.

Position of influence

He got in with some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Synonyms for “interested in”

There might be some situations where you don’t want to say “interested in”. Perhaps you’re trying to show off your vocabulary, or maybe you’ve already used it a lot and want to mix up your language. Here are some ideas about what to say instead.

If you want to emphasise your interest, use focused or fascinated.

To show that you’re acting upon your interest, use inquiring or learning about.

When you’re interested in something because it worries you, concerned is a great word. And when you want to make clear that you have already picked a side, say biased.

And finally, if your interest has caused you to ask many questions, you are inquisitive.

The etymology of “Interest”

The word “interest” wasn’t used in the sense we use it today until 1771. Like many words, it has come over from other languages and has changed its meaning over time.

The word “interest” comes from the Old French word “interest”. Which comes from the Latin “interest”. As you can see, the word hasn’t changed at all since it was Latin.

In Latin, when something was of “interest”, it was of importance. This word is made of the suffix “inter”, which means between- it’s where we get words like “interconnected” from. And the prefix comes from “esse”, which means “to be”.