What would be the correct preposition for this sentence:

The horse was walking ___ behind its master.

In my opinion, it would be 'on'.
Please give the correct answer.

  • 1
    Also, you are probably "looking" and not "looing". – Jay Jan 14 '15 at 15:25

The horse was walking behind its master is fine, no extra preposition is necessary - behind is your preposition.

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  • Yeah, I think we both posted our answers at just about the same time. – Jay Jan 14 '15 at 15:18
  • Who didn't? I'm wondering how many others are posting their answer as we speak..? – Stephie Jan 14 '15 at 15:20
  • Great minds think alike! – Paul Senzee Jan 14 '15 at 15:34

You already have the preposition in your sentence: "behind"

The horse was walking behind its master.

If you add anything else, it would qualify the way the horse walks, not the position:

Your example:

The horse was walking on behind its master.

-> meaning that the horse just kept walking. Though a reader would probably wondering what material the horse was walking on: a path, a bridge, on air.

Another example:

The horse was walking happily behind its master.

-> describing the way the horse walks (adverb).

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  • Technically, in your example "walking on behind", meaning, "kept on walking", I think "on" is not functioning as a preposition but as an adverb. You could just say, for example, "After he was injured, the horse kept walking on" in that sense. – Jay Jan 14 '15 at 19:12

"Behind" is a preposition. You don't need another one. "The horse is walking behind his master."

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  • But the book asks for preposition before 'behind' – user3244786 Jan 14 '15 at 16:48
  • Is there any more context to the question? There are quite a lot of prepositions that could fit here, depending on the exact situation. – ssav Jan 14 '15 at 17:10
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    @user3244786 There wouldn't normally be another. You could add a prepositional phrase such as "on the road" or "along the path" but no second preposition fits there either grammatically or idiomatically. This isn't a case like "up above" or "down below" where two prepositions can work together comfortably. Stephie's suggestion of an adverb, particularly a positional adverb (ex: close, right, immediately, far) makes sense. – Jason Patterson Jan 14 '15 at 17:57

Given that this sounds like a homework question, I think the answer they are looking for is "along":

The horse was walking along behind its master.

But the sentence is grammatically fine without this, as others have pointed out. In fact, it is arguably redundant - how else does a horse walk, except "along"? Upwards? Spirally? If it is not walking along, you would specify how or in what direction - in circles, sideways, etc.

In riding, the phrase "walk on" is used to tell a horse (or the rider) to start walking again after pausing briefly. Eg in dressage, or when presenting a show horse in a competition, you may need to stop to be inspected, checked over or whatever. "Walk on" would tell you when you can go. In this context, it sounds like the walking is already happening and continuous, not just starting. So "walking on" would sound wrong to me.

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