a good place to settle down

sevengem

Senior Member
Chinese
It is a good place to settle down.

Is this sentence right? I think it needs a preposition at the end, like "in". What do you think?
 
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I've often wondered about this, but people probably use phrases like this more often without the preposition at the end: This is a great place to live. This is a good place to settle down. I actually prefer "in" at the end of your example, but it certainly doesn't sound odd without it.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    At first sight it was fine and at second sight it still is. I can see the temptation to add 'in'. We can use 'settle down' on its own and with certain adverbs like 'here'. I wonder if we even need 'down'!
    'This seems a good place to settle.'
     

    sevengem

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    I've often wondered about this, but people probably use phrases like this more often without the preposition at the end: This is a great place to live. This is a good place to settle down. I actually prefer "in" at the end of your example, but it certainly doesn't sound odd without it.
    But grammatically speaking, it still needs "in" to make the sentence complete, right?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    I suppose that depends on who is making the rules. Omissions like this are so common that one grammarian or another has probably accepted the structure as normal. If that hasn't happened yet, it probably will in the future.

    In real speech, I've noticed my compatriots tend to avoid or omit things if they're not sure which form to use. The "who/whom" difference is troubling enough that many people now avoid using "Women who think ...." in favor of "Women that think...". A sort of generalized avoidance of "who" as a relative pronoun occurs. Perhaps there is enough confusion about the best preposition to use after "place" that speakers now routinely drop it: It's a good place to live in?at? Becomes: It's a good place to live.

    After all, there isn't much time in a conversation for people to mull over uncertainties about grammar. I imagine that something similar happened in English long ago as the descendants of fluent Old English speakers began to slur and then drop the endings of inflected words after the Norman-French conquest.
     
    Last edited:

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    But grammatically speaking, it still needs "in" to make the sentence complete, right?
    I don't think you need "in" grammatically, but I think the sentence does sound better (or more complete, if you like) if you include it. :)
     

    sevengem

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Similarly, Is this sentence "There is nothing to be surprised" correct? Or do we need "at" or "about"?
     

    owlman5

    Senior Member
    English-US
    This latest example definitely needs "about" or "at". I've never heard or read anything that makes me believe the omission of one of those prepositions is normal after "surprised".
     

    sevengem

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    So the "place" example is a special one where the omission of preposition at the end is allowed, but other examples like "be surprised" is not?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Yes: like a lot of things in English, it's not really a question of things being "allowed", so much as just the way most people are in the habit of saying it.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top