Take the train in

Hi. I’d like to know the meaning of the following expressions appearing in the novel I’m reading now.

  1. take the train in
    She blew off work today and took the train in last night. She is always blowing off work. I don’t know anyone more laid-back about work.

  2. pay the cover
    We pay the cover and make our way through the massive crowd at Stephen’s Talkhouse, our favorite bar in Amagansett.

  3. a pretentious bone
    Hillary was wearing cutoff jeans, a white scoop-neck T-shirt, and the kind of plain blue flip-flops that Darcy and Claire would only wear to their pedicurist. There is not a pretentious bone in Hillary’s body.

  4. throw back
    We all throw back our shots, which taste like straight vodka.

  5. smack one’s gum
    On what occasion would you do this?

Thanks a million!

  1. Travel somewhere by train.

  2. cover = cover charge, a fixed amount that you have to pay to get admittance to a restaurant, for example.

  3. “Not a X bone in someone’s body” is a set expression meaning that the person does not have quality X in even the slightest degree.

  4. Drink quickly, in one gulp.

  5. Make a “smacking” noise while chewing gum (presumably).

Hi Dozy,

Can we say “take the train”, without “in”.
If yes, then what difference does the inclusion of “in” make?


In this case “in” signifies movement towards a location.

“take the train” can be used by itself, as in “My car’s being mended so I took the train”, for example. “She blew off work today and took the train last night” (no “in”) is possible, but how well it works depends on the exact surrounding context, and how obvious it is where and why she travelled by train.

“Take the train in” means “travel somewhere by train.” Then, is this expression used when you don’t want to or have to be specific about the destination? To make my question clear for you, suppose you go to Rockville by train. Which can add the destination?"

a) take the train in (to Rockville)
b) take the train (to Rockville)
c) get on the train (to Rockville)
d) ride the train (to Rockville)
e) be on board the train (to Rockville)

All these are possible. Additionally, “in” can be added after “train” in ©, (d) and (e). The addition of “in” adds any of several nuances that I find somewhat hard to explain. I guess sometimes it adds a feeling of familiarity with the place. Sometimes it can inject a sense of purpose. “in” is less likely to be used in very formal writing.

I think I get the picture, thank you!