When it comes to the correct spelling of “in case,” there are two options: in case or incase. So, which one is right? It turns out that incase is the incorrect spelling and should never be used in your writing! In this post, we’ll teach you the difference between these common words.
Which Is Correct – In Case or Incase?
The English language is full of tricky words like play it by ear or play it by year. There are words that look almost identical but have totally different meanings. The words incase or in case are prime examples. Just like within vs with in, they are only separated by a single space. But which is correct?
- In Case – Is the grammatically correct choice. It actually follows the same spacing rules as up to vs upto. In case it means “if” or “in the event that.” For example, you might say “I’m going to pack a spare set of clothes in case my luggage gets lost.”
- Incase – Not a word. This is a common misspelling of the word encase. Encase means to cover in a case.
Takeaway: The spellings incase and in case are NOT the same! In case is the correct spelling.
How To Use In Case
The phrase “in case” is the correct spelling of this common phrase. It follows many of the same grammar rules as how ever vs however. It can be used as a conjunction or an adverb just like greatly appreciated or grately appreciated, and it means if something happens or if something is true.
- For example, you might say “I’m bringing my umbrella just in case it rains.” This means that if it does rain, you’ll be prepared.
- Or you might say “I’m going to wear my glasses just in case I need to read the menu.” This means that if you can’t see the menu clearly, you’ll be able to use your glasses to read it.
Conjunctions like but yet can be great! But you need to understand the different types on conjunctions and make sure you are using them correctly!
Takeaway: “In case” is used to prepare for expected conditions that are upcoming.
Just like with the phrases, bare with me or bear with me, figuring out how to use “in case” can be tricky.
- In case you haven’t noticed, I’m fabulous.
- I brought an umbrella just in case it rains tonight.
- All the students brought home their books in case their was a snow storm.
- I asked my boss for the reports in case the client requests them.
- I told my friend to save me a seat in case I made it in time for the show.
How To Use Incase
To be perfectly clear, incase is not a word. When you see the spelling incase, this means one of two words was misspelled:
- In case
In my experience, encase is the most common misspelling writers make, just like the words nevertheless or nonetheless. “Encase” can be used as a transitive verb, meaning to enclose something in or as if in a case.
For example, you could say “I encased the sandwich in plastic wrap” or “The vase was encased in bubble wrap.” In either case, the object is enclosed in some kind of protective material.
Takeaway: The word incase is a spelling mistake and should not be used! There is an incase brand, but that is the exception to the rule.
Easy Memory Trick
Whenever I teach a new grammar rule, I like to provide a memory trick to simplify things. I will admit that some of my memory tricks may not be all that helpful…but they make sense in my head. Memory tricks helped me master is it aunty or auntie!
- Memory Trick: The phrase in case consists of two words. This term means “if something happens”. If you can remember that if & in are both two letter words…then you can remember to in case is the correct spelling!
What About In The UK?
There are often small differences in British vs American English grammar rules. However, they actually follow the same grammar rule in the UK. The right word is in case & it should always be used over incase!
- In case of emergency: This one is perfect for those times when you’re feeling particularly anxious or paranoid.
- As a precaution: This is a great alternative for when you want to sound a little bit more cautious and responsible.
- To be on the safe side: This is perfect for when you’re not really sure what the outcome of a situation will be but you want to err on the side of caution.
- Just in case something goes wrong: This is ideal for those moments when you’re feeling particularly pessimistic about a situation and you want to be prepared for the worst.
- Better safe than sorry: This is another great option for when you want to emphasize the importance of being cautious.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, “if” and “in case” can be used to reference future possibilities. For example, you might say “I’ll bring an umbrella in case it rains,” meaning that you have the potential to rain. Similarly, you could say “I’ll call if I’m going to be late,” meaning that there’s a possibility that you will be late.
Just in case is two words. It means that you do something as a precaution, just in case something bad happens. For example, you might pack a spare set of clothes “just in case” your luggage gets lost on the way to your vacation destination. The word “incase” is not a real word.
The most common usages of “in case” are to say “In case of emergency” or “just in case”. “In case of emergency” is the most common usage of the phrase. It means that you should do something to prepare for a potential emergency. “Just in case” is used to mean that you’re doing something in case something happens.
Incase isn’t a word. This is a misspelling of the word encase. To encase something is to enclose it in, or as if in, a case. This could be done for protection, as when one might encase a valuable item in a sturdy container, or simply to keep something contained.
The Bottom Line
Now you know the difference between these two separate words. The preferred spelling in case should be used in any situation. The spelling incase is the incorrect spelling. Other popular conjunctions like other than or other then follow similar spelling rules. Now you know that adding just a single space can completely change the meaning of a word or phrase altogether. Use this tip to improve your writing today!