Preposition on sentence-final position

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cadarika

Member
Portuguese
I'd like to know if putting prepositions designed to verbs is necessary in the end of sentences. for example:

1. he finally allowed himself to think of where he was heading (to)
2. we liked the house we were living (in)


sorry if I wasn't very clear
well, thanks in advance!
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, is the general answer: we were living in a house, so this is the house we were living in. But 'where' is an exception; it doesn't take 'to'. Location and direction both use plain 'where': Where is the house? Where are you heading? This is where the house is; this is where he is heading.

    (This is not really about the end position of a sentence. It is true wherever the words are used. 'Live in' requires 'in'; 'where' of motion does not require 'to'.)
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Where can take to, but does not require it. It sounds old-fashioned to today's ears, but appears, for instance, in the old nursery rhyme "Where are you going to, my pretty maid?"
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It doesn't sound in the least old-fashioned to me, although I agree that where does not need to be followed by to.

    I would also use to if asking about a specific destination.
    For example, if I met someone in the street, I might say to them: "Hello. Where are you going?"
    But if they told me first that they were going to buy a computer and I wanted to know which shop they were thinking of going to, I would say "Where are you going to?"

    Also the to in Where are you heading? is optional, although it would be much less common in written English.
    See http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=119101.
     
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