1

''Where does that come from'' In a sentence ''where you going'' we don't use the preposition, but ''what place are you going to'' we do. Why does then we tend to say the preposition in the first sentence? We should instead say ''what place does that come from'' or ''where does that come?''

Thank you

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Mar 15 '17 at 19:56

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

1

When I was young, we were instructed that statements should not end with any preposition:

Where does that come from ?

would be incorrect. Rather:

From where does that come?

That "rule" does not seem enforced currently.

Where does that come from?

Seems OK today.

Where you going?

Is a popular expression. It probably came about as some would say:

Where you going to?

and catch the Devil for putting "to" at the end. While chastised for the preposition that was so obvious at the end, correction for an incomplete present progressive was forgotten. Properly, at least at one time, the question would read:

To where are you going?

The are and to seem to have fallen to ellipsis Dictionary.com

Where does that come?

will probably confuse a reader, as it is not common usage. Best to say:

From where does that come?

or

Where does that come from?

as both seem acceptable today.

0

‘From where does that come?’ sounds clumsy because it is, which has nothing to do with it being right or wrong.

‘Where does that come from' might be less clumsy than 'what place does that come from' but today, either makes the perfectly correct ’Whence comes that?’ sound ridiculous: at best archaic and obscure; to some, almost incomprehensible and to many more, strange enough to be wrong.

‘Where you going’ is common enough that it might be called idiomatic but more likely it’s just wrong because it isn’t either the full ‘Where are you going?’ nor even the over-egged ‘What place are you going to?’

In my view, these questions are difficult because the language has changed much faster than most of the rules which might have guided us…

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy