What's the correct one? Is it preposition omission? If so, could you please give me the detailed rules for it?

When will the game come to an end?

When will the game come to an end at?


This is not a case of preposition omission.

When will the game end?

This is the simplest sentence that expresses the same idea. "Come to an end" is an idiom that has the same meaning as "end" in the above example.

Grammatically, "end" is being used as an instransitive verb, which can stand on its own without a preposition. By doing so, you are leaving the condition of ending unspecified, which is acceptable. Here are some examples of using the intransitive verb "end."

will end
hasn't ended
have ended
will have ended

You need a preposition when you need to specify the condition of "end." The condition can be a time:

Shouldn't the game have ended at 2:00 p.m.?

Or it could be a rule of the game:

Shouldn't the game have ended with that last goal?

Or any other appropriate preposition:

Shouldn't the game have ended on the hill?

Thus, using your original example:

Shouldn't the game have come to an end at 2:00 p.m.?


Use a preposition when you need to specify a condition of the intransitive verb "end." Don't use a preposition when it is acceptable to be unspecific.

Thus, your first example is grammatically correct. Your second example is grammatically incorrect.

  • And the fact that when means at what time, which implies at already, would be one of the reasons.. Right? – Константин Ван Mar 18 '18 at 9:00
  • Then how about *What time* will the game end at?? Is it also grammatically incorrect? – Константин Ван Mar 18 '18 at 9:01
  • 1
    Regarding your first comment: well, yes, but that's more of an observation of the consequence of the rules than it is an actual rule. Regarding your second comment: a native speaker would not use the word "at" in the sentence. The sentence would be grammatically correct if the word "at" is removed. If you want to use the preposition, the sentence would written, "At what time will the game end?" – JBH Mar 18 '18 at 17:20

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