‘In Process' or 'In Progress': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 17, 2023

Wondering which phrase to use, 'in process' or 'in progress'? And what is the difference between the two? We’ll answer that in detail below, plus teach you the meaning and how to use both in a sentence correctly.

  • In short, both phrases are similar in meaning, but ‘in progress’ is used more frequently.
  • ‘In process’ is more likely used with the word ‘the’ stuck in the middle.
  • The phrases are used to describe work or a task that’s not completed yet but is currently on the way to being completed.

‘In Process’ or ‘In Progress’ – What’s the Difference? 

We just learned that ‘in process’ and ‘in progress’ mean pretty much the same thing. However, ‘in progress’ is the more common phrase.

The phrases are used to describe work or a task that’s not completed yet but is currently on the way to completion.

Work in ‘Process’ or Work in ‘Progress’ – Key Differences

Both phrases are used to mean the cost of unfinished goods for a business. They refer to a task or project getting closer to a state of completion.

They're two phrases that sound similar but not quite the same and mean the same thing. That means they're not considered homophones.

Definition and Meaning of ‘In Process’ and ‘In Progress’

Now that you know there’s no real difference between the phrases (other than the preference of use), let’s look at what they mean in more depth.

According to Merriam-Webster, the phrase ‘in progress’ means a project that’s not finished yet.

The definition of ‘in process’ works in any of the stages it goes through to get to the finished product.

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘In Process’ and ‘In Progress’

Wondering how to pronounce these phrases? Here’s a short guide.

  • To pronounce ‘in process,’ use the phonetic spelling: PROH-SES.
  • To pronounce ‘in progress,’ use the phonetic spelling: PROH-GRES.

How to Use the Phrases in a Sentence

Since you know what both phrases mean and how to pronounce them, we can move on to seeing some examples of how to use them both in a sentence. We’ll start with ‘in process.’

  • We have a few projects in progress right now. They’re almost complete.
  • I don’t really know which of my works in progress, I want to start working on right now.
  • My book report is in progress. I’m more than halfway done.
  • We have a few book deals in progress right now, but we’ll let you know in a few months if we’re going to publish yours.
  • I have a few works in progress just sitting on my computer, waiting for me to publish them.
  • That author has laid out more than 20 of her works in progress. It’s insane.

Remember, you can always use these phrases interchangeably since they mean the same thing.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘In Process’ and ‘In Progress’

To recap, we learned that both phrases mean the same thing, although the more common and preferred phase is ‘in progress.’ Therefore, you should aim to use that one. Use the above sentences as a guide while you write your own.

If you ever get stuck, feel free to come back for a quick refresher. We’ve got a whole library of content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in the English language. Go check it out whenever you need to.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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