I read this sentence: "But naturally, he pretended he did not care where he stayed or who with."

As a learner of English I would write as "...where he stayed or with whom."I might be wrong but would like to know when to use this phrase " who with." I have never read it before.

  • 1
    It's the way people actually talk. What people write and what people say often display different grammars.
    – Lambie
    Jun 18 at 18:34
  • Old-school proper grammar, like from a 50 or 100 years ago, would've been "with whom." Nowadays, because of usage, ending with a preposition is perfectly acceptable, so "whom with" is proper grammar. In common-speak, people rarely use "whom," though. The vast majority of native speakers would say "who with," never "whom with," so it's likely "who with," while not yet embraced by grammarians clinging to pedantry, will in the not-too-distant-future become proper English grammar, English grammar being descriptive, not prescriptive. In English, at the end of the day, common-speak wins the day. Jun 19 at 1:39
  • Basically, it's an issue that is presently at odds, grammar technically requiring "whom with" but the vast majority of speakers, authors and editors included, will use "who with" instead because "whom with" sounds, while technically proper, is widely perceived by readers as unnatural and stilted as not being something they ever say, resulting in it getting in the way of effective communication and thus often avoided even when that communication is formal. Jun 19 at 1:54

But naturally, he pretended he did not care where he stayed or who with.

It's a coordinate structure. The coordinator or joins two constituents - where he stayed and who with.

Now both the constituents are complement of verb care, realised by interrogative content clause.

It is an example of Gapped Coordination, where in second constituent some words are missing. Without the gap it would read like this who he stayed with.

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