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  1. #1
    Summer_Lou is offline Newbie
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    Default 'Where are you off to?' - right or wrong?

    Is it possible to use the word 'to' at the end of a question?

    For example:-

    Q - Where are you off to?
    A - I'm off to the shops.

    Q - Do you know where you're going to?
    A - I'm going to Bellas house.

    Q - Where would you like to meet me to?
    A - I would like to meet you at the Library.

    Q - Where is that to?
    A - I think it is slightly to the right.

    I have heard mied veiws on this subject, I have been told by English Language and Literature A level teachers that all of the above sentences are perfectly grammatical.
    However numerous people from outside of the county I live in have told me that putting 'to' at the end of these questions does not make grammatical sense.
    I am thoroughly confused and do not want to be using this way of phrasing a question in either written work or everyday speech if it is in fact wrong.
    Please help.

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: 'Where are you off to?' - right or wrong?

    Quote Originally Posted by Summer_Lou View Post
    Is it possible to use the word 'to' at the end of a question? Yes, but not in all of the ones you have below.

    For example:-

    Q - Where are you off to? This is very natural in American English.

    A - I'm off to the shops. However, you would not need to reply this way. You could say things like: I'm going shopping. Jane's house. Just going to the mailbox. You don't need to use "to" in your response.



    Q - Do you know where you're going to? The to is not necessary and some - including me - would say it doesn't belong. (There's a song that has this line, but I would never say it this way unless I was singing along to that song). Just: Do you know where you're going?

    A - I'm going to Bella's house. This is not how you'd answer "Do you know where you're gong." You'd ask this question because it seemed like the person did not know HOW to get to the destination. Even if we knew we were going to Bella's, I'd say this to really mean "Do you know how to get to Bella's? Do you know what route to take?" (You could ask this question to mean more like "What do you plan to do with your life?" but that's another issue.)



    Q - Where would you like to meet me to? No, this is simply not grammatical. You may hear "Where do you want to meet at?" but that makes me shudder. Where do you want to meet?

    A - I would like to meet you at the Library. You have bolded the word "to" that is part of the infinitive, "to meet" not the preposition "to" that you have in the question, and note you have automatically put the right preposition "at" in your response.



    Q - Where is that to? No, this isn't natural really, unless you are looking at two paths. Someone tells you the path on the left goes to the lake. "O,h where is that to?" you ask, as you point at the path to the right.

    A - I think it is slightly to the right. I'm not sure what you mean by this response.
    In short, the only one that's natural is the first and it's rather colloquial, I think.

    I hope this helps.

    {not a teacher, and giving the American English point of view}

  3. #3
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: 'Where are you off to?' - right or wrong?

    Great answer, Barb.

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: 'Where are you off to?' - right or wrong?


    In the last case, the 'answer' "it is slightly to the right" wouldn't fit the question given. If object A is slightly to the right of object B, it is in almost the same direction, but turning very slightly. So this dialogue is possible:

    Tom: Could you direct me to St Peter's?
    Dick: Yes, but I'm in a bit of a hurry. Down this road, and opposite the second turning on the left you'll see a Shell garage. [Seeming to have finished; turning away.]
    Tom: And the church?
    Dick: Slightly to the right. [Over his shoulder as he walks on]

    b

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