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This is the second time I came to America for.

As for the above sentence, is the preposition 'for' is necessary? In my opinion, the sentence should be revised to 'This is the second time that I have been to America.' or 'This is the second time I came to America.'

But my teacher told me that 'for' is necessary otherwise the sentence is incorrect. Is that right?

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    English teacher? Are you sure your teacher said that? "This is the second time I came to America for." is nonsense.
    – cruthers
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 5:33
  • Yes, this is just for teaching the sentence structure, so there is no discourse.
    – Henry Wang
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 5:35

3 Answers 3

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Well that depends, if you went to America for a purpose then yes you need a for as in "This is the second time I came to America for undisclosed reasons". But by itself it is not grammatically correct whereas both the examples you gave work as standalone sentences although I would prefer you say "This is the second time I HAVE COME to America" instead of "This is the second time I CAME to America".

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  • So, if we don't consider the context, the preposition 'for' is redundant. Is that right?
    – Henry Wang
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 5:36
  • It’s not redundant. It’s just nonsense. It’s an extra word. It only makes sense if something comes after it. This answer from Quippy doesn’t make that clear.
    – cruthers
    Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 6:26
  • @HenryWang I should add that english sentences generally don't end with prepositions so you should always be on the lookout for that Commented Oct 18, 2021 at 8:41
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This is the second time I came to America for.

is incorrect. If "for" expressed a purpose it could appear "stranded" at the end of the sentence in this way, e.g.

This is the second wedding I came to America for.

But when "for" occurs with "the first/second/third/... time", the preposition has to come first. The "for" is optional in this context, thus the following are fine:

I came to America (for) the second time.

This is the second time I came to America.

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The use of the preposition "for" at the end of the sentence is incorrect. It has no complement. A preposition phrase requires a complement.

The past tense "came" is acceptable, but in British English the present perfect would be better: there is a clear link to the present:

This is the second time that I've come to London.

I'm not certain if AmE speakers would prefer present-perfect in that context.

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