“They are exhausted families, sheltering in subway stations and schools: Ukrainians displaced by war face a difficult journey west."

Isn’t there a preposition missing between “journey” and “west”? Something like "journey TO west" or "journey IN THE west"??

I mean, if the reader is not very aware of the context, it might be confusing. Is it grammatical to leave out the preposition there?

1 Answer 1


It is indeed grammatical to say “journey west.” Here, “west” is just a modifier on the noun “journey.” Similarly, you can say, “on my way home” instead of “on my way to the home.” It seems to apply to nouns like “journey,” “path,” “road,” etc. that can be further described in terms of their direction.

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    A 'longer' version of 'on my way home' would possibly be 'on my way to my home', or, I suppose, 'on my way to home', although I don't think many people actually say that. I am certain, though, that nobody calls where they live 'the home'. Mar 4, 2022 at 14:21
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    @henrykearaudjo A journey west is always a journey TO somewhere to the west of the starting place. Mar 4, 2022 at 15:30
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    @henrykearaudjo It is not confusing at all for native speakers, maybe this helps: it is the same as reading "westward" e.g. "a difficult journey westward." What type of journey? A westward journey. A journey West.
    – Eli Harold
    Mar 4, 2022 at 17:42
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    @henrykearaudjo - 'west' is not a place, it is a direction. There is always somewhere further west than you are. Mar 4, 2022 at 20:03
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    A note about capitalization: the "West" (uppercase) means the Western world, the Western United States, etc. All of the usages on this page so far should be "west" (lowercase). Mar 4, 2022 at 23:16

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