Where did he go / go in?

Fredziu

Senior Member
Polish
Hello again,

If I have a sentence like He went into a cave, then should my question be:

a) Where did he go?

or
b) Where did he go in?

I suppose it should be b, because a would be better for a sentence like He went to work.
Am I right?
 
  • BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    First, 'where did he go'?
    Then if there were more than one entrance to the cave, 'where did he go in'?
    Did he go to work? What time did he go in?
     

    BLUEGLAZE

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Let us say we are in a shopping mall. My friend disappears. I ask my other friend, 'what store did he go into'?
    If we know he was shopping for something specific, let us say shoes, then I can ask, 'Which store (place) did he go to'?
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    OK. So I understand that the question What place did he go into is correct.

    Let’s look at these two questions now:

    a) What place did he go to?

    b) What place did he go into?

    Suppose I wanted to replace what place with the word where.

    a) Where did he go?

    What about b? Would it also be Where did he go?
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    The natural question is, "Where did he go?"

    If there are several caves he might have entered, you might ask, "Which cave did he go into?"
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Thank you all for your help! :)

    Just two final conclusions:

    1) If I ask where did he go in, I'm actually asking which entrance did he use to enter that place?

    2) The question where did he go could mean either what place did he go to or what place did he go into.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It only means "Do you know where he is now/Why has he disappeared"
    With all due respect, I can't agree, Dale. It all depends on the context. If you were asking about someone you expected to be in the same place as you, then it would certainly mean what you said. But if I said, for example, "he went to the hairdresser's a few days ago," and you didn't understand the whole sentence because I mispronounced the word 'hairdresser's' or I said it very unclearly, then you might ask, "where did he go" and you definitely wouldn't mean "Do you know where he is now/Why has he disappeared?"
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It has a lot to do with what I asked about at the beginning. Maybe I didn't make myself very clear when I was explaining the problem. I just wanted to find out what question I could make for the sentence He went into a cave. I mean, how can I ask about the underlined part of the sentence? I don't care about the exact situation in which the sentence was uttered. All I wanted to know was whether I should ask where did he go or where did he go in? I was purely interested in the grammar of the question. Why? Because I have students who are supposed to practise making sentences, including questions, and if I am not sure whether a question is correct or not, then how can I teach them?

    Now, if the sentence was He went to a cave, the question would be obvious to me: Where did he go? But when I was thinking about the sentence He went into a cave, my logic told me that maybe the question should be slightly different because of the word into instead of to, and that's why I wanted to make sure. But I was told that the natural question would be Where did he go?

    The situation in which the question is asked might just as well be the same as with the question about the hairdresser: A: He went into a cave. B: Where did he go? (speaker B did not understand the ending of the question).
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It seems to me that if the goal is to know where he is now, you ask, "Where did he go?"
    The answers might be "to the Hairdresser's" or "Into the cave", and so on. The preposition used in the answer is not necessarily reflected in the question.

    If there are several places he might have gone into -- a barn, a store, a cave -- and you know that he was in one of them, then you might as "What did he enter/go into?" The answer would name the place he entered.

    The question "Where did he enter/go in?" assumes that you know the location, but you don't know which entrance he used.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    It seems to me that if the goal is to know where he is now, you ask, "Where did he go?"
    The answers might be "to the Hairdresser's" or "Into the cave", and so on. The preposition used in the answer is not necessarily reflected in the question.
    :thumbsup:

    If there are several places he might have gone into -- a barn, a store, a cave -- and you know that he was in one of them, then you might as "What did he enter/go into?" The answer would name the place he entered.
    Actually, I used a similar question, except I added the word 'place': What place did he go into? Does it sound natural?

    The question "Where did he enter/go in?" assumes that you know the location, but you don't know which entrance he used.
    Is it possible to use 'which way' instead of 'where' in the above question to mean the same thing: Which way did he go in?
    If so, will it sound idiomatic too?
     

    jokaec

    Senior Member
    Chinese - Hong Kong
    John: I heard he left us for a new job.
    Peter: Do you know where he went to?
    John: A big and prominent insurance company.


    Can I use "where did he go to" mean which company did he go for the new job?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Can I use "where did he go to" mean which company did he go for the new job?
    It might work. (I would leave off 'to' in this case.)

    However, it could be understood as a question about his current location. I would probably ask "Do you know which company he went to?"
     
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