A set of deer antlers lying on a flat stone just inside [of?] one cave reveals more recent visitors.
Should we use preposition -of- in that case?
I have checked Corpus of Contemporary American English and have found examples of both usages:
- ...to plant another 20 acres of vines, finish building the inside of an on-site cave, and work on building a retail tasting room (Fiction)
- However, opened and remained blue as the inside of an ice cave, paler than the shell of a robin's egg (Fiction)
- It looked like the wall on the inside of a cave: flat and kind of scale (Fiction)
- ...-To protect the inside of the cave. " // He stepped inside, leaving the gate open. (Fiction)
- Views outside and inside of Wind Cave in South Dakota (Magazine)
- Above, Black Hills grasslands and, right, boxwork inside of the cave (Magazine)
- You can see Bill Elliott's great photos of what you can see inside a cave. (Spoken)
- So, when I am asked, what was your feeling inside the cave? (Spoken)
- At some point, we found a small river running through the inside the cave (Spoken)
- We were gathered around a small fire inside the cave (Fiction)
- About 700 feet inside El Sidrn cave, a research team including Lalueza-Fox excavated 1,700 bones (Academy)
I still cannot come up with a clear pattern why we are using -of- in some cases but are not using it in other. Is it more a question of style rather then a grammar? Or it has something with how speaker/writer sees things around and perceives a reality? Does absence of -of- make things sound weird/wrong for native speaker? Thanks.