I watch quiz shows on TV where teams compete and each member of a team has to answer a question when it is their turn.

On the show, the presenter wants each member of the team to come on the stage one at a time and asks each of them a different question. And the presenter calls the name of the next member of the team when it is their turn like this: "James, you are up next".

I understand by "up next" the presenter means "James, now it is your turn to come to stage and answer the next question."

But I wonder why does TV presenter say "UP NEXT", where simply "NEXT" would do?

Shortly, is there any difference between "you are next" and "you are up next"?


1 Answer 1


American English has a tendency toward a certain overflow of prepositions (sometimes attached to the verb, sometimes without).

It's the same phenomenon as in phrases such as,

— Come on in (vs. "Come in")

— I am basing myself off of those findings. // He has weaned himself off of alcohol. (in both cases, "of" can be left out)

You can "take the dog for a walk" and "take the dog out for a walk"; these phrases are equivalent.

So there are a lot of parallel constructions like this; American English will generally have more of them than BrE. The choice is basically up to the speaker/user.

It comes down to what kind of phrases you've heard more often and have accustomed yourself to. We learn language (even our own, when we were babies/toddlers) by aping and repeating whole phrases, not just words. I find it useful to have a notebook where I don't just write down words from the language I'm learning, but whole phrases (including these cases of un-obvious, redundant use of prepositions).

  • Thanks for the good explanation. Just to note; the program I watched was on ITV, which is a British TV channel. May be "certain overflow of prepositions" is also seen in British English.
    – yunus
    Feb 21, 2018 at 7:36
  • 1
    It is one thing that drives this BrE speaker wild that on UK TV shows it seems to be compulsory to say "first up" when "first" would do perfectly well (actually better to my ears). So @yunus is right in suspecting that preposition overflow has spread to my side of the Atlantic.
    – JeremyC
    Feb 21, 2018 at 14:29
  • @JeremyC But it still irks you, so it's definitely a "foreign" element taking over gradually :)
    – user68912
    Feb 21, 2018 at 17:36
  • @tenebris2020 I really appreciate your sympathy. Foreign it is.
    – JeremyC
    Feb 21, 2018 at 17:56

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