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A suggestion in my class textbook, International Management: Strategic Opportunities & Cultural Challenges, that says,

"Do not be in a rush, as it is an attack on the face of others. To Asians, your sense of urgency says that they are not important enough to spend time with and that you have better places to be."

Shouldn't it say "better places to be at"?

You drive a car. That's why you have better cars to drive.

But,

You dream about a car. That's why you have better cars to dream about.

Shouldn't the same logic hold true for the original sentence?

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"Better places to be" is correct here.

When you say "dream about", the "about" is necessary because "better cars to dream" would be incomplete. Not so with "better places to be".

I don't think "better places to be at" would be totally wrong here, but I feel that "better places to be" is far superior.

This is just based on convention. It's the more common way to say it.

Here's another example of usage:

There you are, assailed by turbo-charged butterflies and baying, beseeching crowds, by managerial demands and collective responsibility, trying like buggery just to keep on keeping on. To do what you've learned to do without thinking, to perform as you do when dogs outnumber spectators and the TV cameras have better places to be. ESPN, 2015

  • But do we say "There are other places you can (be at/in)"? Don't we include the preposition in that sentence? – Ghaith Alrestom Aug 11 '16 at 8:43
  • @GhaithAlrestom I prefer to drop at/in in that example as well. I would just say "There are other places you can be." It may occasionally depend on context. – Revetahw says Reinstate Monica Aug 11 '16 at 8:49
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    @GhaithAlrestom - This is something of a regional or dialect issue too. Standard usage is to leave off the preposition, but informally I often say things like "Where's the party at?" This drives my wife nuts, but it's the dialect I grew up speaking. – stangdon Aug 11 '16 at 12:08

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