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I took one problem from my book:

A friend is going to the cinema. You want to know the name of the film. You say:

Key answer: What's the name of the film you're going to see?

Can I say something like this:

What's the name of the film in the cinema you're going to?

It sounds OK to me, but I want to now whether this is grammatical or not and please tell me why the reason and the alternative if it's not. Thanks!

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  • the film at the cinema [i.e. movie house]
    – Lambie
    Jun 11, 2021 at 14:45

2 Answers 2

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in the cinema is not needed. going to at the end is fine.

Declarative sentence: X is the name of the movie we are going to see. Question sentence form: What's the name of the movie you're going to [see?].

In fact, in English, there are many, many times in speech where the verb after to is left out if it is understood.

Here are a few examples:

Q: Would they like to go out with us? A: They'd like to [go out with us] but they can't.

Person 1: I want to go early so I can get a seat at the event.
Person 2: Yes, I want to, too.

Person 1: We wouldn't go to the bank if we didn't want to [go to the bank], would we?
Person 2: No, we wouldn't.

This can get complicated but basically the idea is that you do not need to repeat certain verbs or verb phrases, if they are already known.

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[2] What's the name of the film in the cinema you're going to?

[2] is incomplete.

We could say

What's the name of the film [being screened] in the cinema you're going to?

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  • No, it is not incomplete at all. But "in the cinema" (which is "at the cinema") is not needed. It is very common in spoken English to not repeat a verb and leave the preposition to at the end of a sentence.
    – Lambie
    Jun 11, 2021 at 14:44

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