Is it possible to write this sentence without a preposition

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Kili, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. Kili Junior Member

    Turkish-İZMİR
    A) The modern jet airliner that / which we spent millions of dollars to build is a unique example of the aircraft production.
    B) The modern jet airliner -- we spent millions of dollars to build is a unique example of the aircraft production.
    C) The modern jet airliner for which we spent millions of dollars to build is a unique example of the aircraft production.


    Of the above sentences only "C" sounds correct to me, but a book I have says "that" and "which" are omitable in the sentence thus getting "B" . Let alone they are interchangeable, I don't understand why the sentence is correct without the preposition "For". Isn't "C" the only correct sentence?
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2008
  2. ace02nc Senior Member

    English - United States
    The only correct option here is A, actually. "For" is unnecessary in C, and B does not make any sense at all.

    "The modern jet airliner - which we spent millions of dollars to build - is a unique example of aircraft production."
     
  3. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    Relative pronouns can often be omitted (note spelling), but not to the extent that readability is adversely affected or a sentence becomes ambiguous, as ace said.
     
  4. Kili Junior Member

    Turkish-İZMİR

    But "you spend millions of dollars for it." So a preposition either before which or after which clause seems necessary.
     
  5. kitenok Senior Member

    Hi Kili,
    Better to think of the simplified version of your example as "you spend millions of dollars to build it." No preposition necessary when we use an infinitive.
     
  6. Kili Junior Member

    Turkish-İZMİR

    So "on" is necessary to put before which then isn't it?
     
  7. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Sorry, I've just deleted my post: I don't think "on" is always necessary here.
     
  8. kitenok Senior Member

    To clarify, Kili, here are some examples of how I would use "to spend" in American English with prepositions and without:

    1. I spent a billion dollars for a modern jet airliner = I paid a billion dollars and in return I now have ownership of this airplane.

    2. I spent a billion dollars on a modern jet airliner = I paid a billion dollars for expenses associated with this airplane; this might be just the cost of buying the plane (synonymous with #1), but it might also refer to costs for maintenance, staff, upholstery, fuel...

    3. I spent a billion dollars to build a modern jet airliner = I paid a billion dollars for the costs of constructing this airplane.

    Your original example is closest to the construction in my example 3, and no preposition is necessary.
     
  9. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    A1) The modern jet airliner that we spent millions of dollars to build is a unique example of the aircraft production.
    A2) The modern jet airliner, which we spent millions of dollars to build, is a unique example of the aircraft production.
    B) The modern jet airliner we spent millions of dollars to build is a unique example of the aircraft production.

    I'd prefer not to use (B), but as sdgraham said, relative pronouns are often omitted.
    Using spent in (1) sounds very odd to me. I would much prefer paid:
    I paid a billion dollars for ...
     
  10. kitenok Senior Member

    I agree that paid sounds better, and I would probably use it in any neutral sentence about a purchase. I do think that "spend X for Y" is a viable option in American English, though, particularly in cases where there is some regret about a purchase.
    A quick Google search for the combination "spent twenty dollars for" led to about 500 examples, many of them dealing with purchases of alcohol. The combination "spent twenty pounds for" yielded only two sentences of any sort.
     
  11. Kili Junior Member

    Turkish-İZMİR
    Thank you guys, all is clear now.
     

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