Inner vs Inter(and Intra?) – What’s the Difference?

If you confuse inner with inter, you aren’t alone. It can be tricky to tell these words apart due to their spelling, but they have very different meanings. Inner refers to something interior, while inter to place something in the ground or bury.


Inter can be used as a verb or as a prefix. It is considered to be a transitive verb and it means to deposit something into a tomb or into the earth.

As a prefix, inter means among or between, reciprocal, shared, and within the limits of. The prefix comes from the Latin language, where it means between.

We made the decision to inter the family cat in the backyard.

After we inter the body during the funeral, there will be a gathering at our house.

Her husband has wishes to inter in the sea when he passes.

Each person in the family will inter in the same plot.

He insisted we inter the dog with her favorite toy, so she won’t be lonely.

Inter(Prefix) Examples
Interact is one example of inter- as a prefix. It means that something is going on between you and something or someone else.

Intercom is another great example of the prefix. This is a system that makes communication between multiple rooms easier.

Internet refers to a network connection between those all over the world. Interstate refers to a highway that goes between more than one state. These are great real-world examples of the prefix inter-.


Inner is an adjective that is used to describe something interior. This could be a door on the inside of a house, something private or secret, or something relating to your spirit or mind. The word comes from the Old English language.

The hospital is closer to the inner city, so there is more traffic.

Your inner voice will tell you what is right and what is wrong.

Yoga can help you find inner relaxation.

I chose an inner room on the cruise ship by mistake.

Inner vs Inter

When you are trying to decide which word to use, you will more likely need the word inner. Inner refers more towards something that is closer to the inside while inter has a different meaning depending on how it is used.

Inter is commonly used as a prefix, while inner can’t be used as a prefix. For example, you might be tempted to say inneroffice, but it would be correct to say interoffice instead. This is because inter means among or between others in the office.

Inter or Intra?

Inter and intra also get confused with each other frequently. They both come from Latin and seem to be very similar in meaning, but they are different. Intra means within and inter means between.

It is common to see both inter and intra used as prefixes in science and medicine. The prefix will change the meaning of the word completely. For example, interspecies means something is happening between two species, but intraspecies means that something is happening within a single species.

Interstate and intrastate are also great examples. An interstate runs between different states while an intrastate is just in one state.

The English language is full of confusing words and inner and inter are two of those words. Inner refers to something that is more interior or inside while inter means between or put something into the ground.

Inter can be used as a prefix for other words, but inner can’t. If you need a prefix for a word, you will choose inter. If you are trying to describe something like the center of a city, you would use the word inner.