Student or Learner
Tears rolled down along her cheeks when she was told that her mother was very sick.
Is along in the above sentence optional or must I delete it? Thanks.
But could you explain why in a few words? Thanks.
The tears are doing only one thing - only moving in one direction - so a single preposition is appropriate. In contrast, "the raindrops trickled down the glass and along the ledge".
In this case, there are two directions, each with its own preposition, joined by "and".
Contexts that would allow the concatenation of these two prepositions are rare (with no intervening "and"). Possibly, they are usually colloquial (I'll have to think further about this). When I try to think of examples, a folk song's refrain comes to mind: "All along, down along, out along lea". That's meaningless, so don't worry about it!
But I still have some doubts. In our language, we'll use "The tears rolled down (and) along her cheeks ..." I mean, could we regard "down" as a particle and "along" as a preposition?
By the way, does it sound right to write "The raindrops trickled along the glass" and "The raindrops trickled down the ledge?"
[More later - I've got to go.]
"Trickled down" is a strong collocation. But the main idea of a ledge is that it's horizontal. So neither "The raindrops trickled along the glass" nor "The raindrops trickled down the ledge" sounds quite right.