One of my friends is writing a paper and asked me to edit it for her, and for some reason, 'the background of which they come' doesn't make any sense. If it helps, the beginning of the sentence is 'all the players state there name and 'the background of which they come''.

Thanks! The insight is greatly appreciated!

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    "...all the players state their name and background." – Weather Vane Jul 30 '19 at 7:18
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    "... and the background from which they come." You come from somewhere, you go to somewhere. "Of" would be for more intricate things: "... and the thing of which they are most proud." – jonathanjo Jul 30 '19 at 8:38
  • Seriously? You seem to be a native speaker. What background do you come from? :) – Lambie Jan 10 '20 at 17:46

The preposition used should be from, not of.

To make this clearer, compare the following sentences with the preposition moved to the end:

✘ The background they come of.
✔ The background they come from.

Alternatively, you can use different wording:

✘ They come of a certain background.
✔ They come from a certain background.

Once the correct preposition is identified, you can refer back to the original wording:

✘ The background of which they come.
✔ The background from which they come.

Note that I don't think of is strictly ungrammatical in every case. It's a preposition I've seen used in this way in some rare pieces of writing—and in a specifically different construction than I used here. However, it's very uncommon and wouldn't normally be considered idiomatic. (And at a certain point, something becomes effectively ungrammatical simply because it's so unidiomatic.) Unless you are certain of its use in the right context, it's best to stick to the far more common from.

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