Note: I have seen people suggest that if you can replace “in to” with “in order to”, you need the space. However, “in to” is NOT interchangeable with “in order to”. There are contexts in which “to” can be replaced with “in order to”. But if you have a verb phrase that includes “in” (e.g. gave in) followed by “in order to”, you would need to have the word “in” twice. If we continue with the example of the boy who gave in to peer pressure: “He gave in to avoid being bullied further” MEANS THE SAME AS “He gave in in order to avoid being bullied further.” In both cases, the “to” is the beginning of the infinitive. If you had replaced “in to” with “in order to” the meaning would change. If you say “He gave in order to avoid being bullied further”, it would mean the boy gave something to someone for the purpose of avoiding further bullying. What he gave is not specified, but it was possibly his lunch money, or the answers to his homework. Giving to avoid bullying DOES NOT MEAN THE SAME AS giving in to avoid bullying. He might be giving in to the pressure to take drugs or to steal something. (In those cases, “giving in” is not only not the same as giving, but actually means taking.) So “in to” cannot be replaced by “in order to”, but if the “to” can be, you know you need the space.
I know this is a bit of a brain twister. Please ask any questions you have, and let me know what I need to say more clearly.
The expression “free rein” originated with horsemanship, and literally meant that the horse was free from the control of the reins. Use in broader senses followed. “Free reign” became a common substitution, I expect because people weren’t familiar with horsemanship. I’m not sure what “free reign” would really mean. I don’t think royalty pays for the privilege of ruling a kingdom. “Free rain”, well, I think rain is free for everyone.
“To rein in” means to subdue or to control or to limit. “To reign in” would be followed by a place where royals reside and hold power. “To rain in” might be used in a weather report if you are about to say, for example, that precipitation is beginning in a particular place. It is beginning to rain in London.
“To take over the reins” means to take over the leadership of something, but not necessarily the royal throne. “To take over the reigns” would require more than one royal to die or abdicate and leave an empty throne to be filled. “To take over the rains”—I don’t think that’s a thing.
If someone asks if you want to take the stairs or the elevator, saying you’ll take the ladder will probably confuse them.
The term “ladder” can also be used metaphorically–to climb the corporate ladder or the ladder to success, for example. Whereas a physical ladder allows one to climb up and down, most people don’t want to go down a metaphorical ladder.
Both these words can also be used as verbs and adjectives.
If you take the rap, you take the blame or the responsibility for an undesired, possibly illegal, activity. If you beat the rap, that undesired activity still happened, but you didn’t have any consequences from it.
To get a bad rap means to get punishment or consequences that you didn’t deserve. To get a bad wrap probably means that your tortilla was filled with things that were not to your liking.
Bubble wrap is a protective packing material made of plastic with air sealed into it in small compartments.
Bubble rap might be a new version of rap music, or possibly having a casual conversation through soap bubbles. Neither has made it to mainstream popularity levels yet, so I’m just speculating.
The trick I use to remember whether to use discreet or discrete is based on the placement of the Es. In discreet, which is used for keeping things quiet, the two Es are close together as if they are whispering in each other’s ears telling a secret. In discrete, which is used for things that are separate, the two Es are separated by a T. Let me know if that also helps you remember which is which.