Can we begin a question with "To" or "From"?



Please consider the following questions.

From which shed should I take it?

To which house should I send it?

From which printer is it being printed?

Are they correct?


Posted 2014-06-09T05:30:56.977





They're correct, but they also sound a little stilted. There used to be a myth that it's bad to end a sentence with a preposition, and in some languages it really doesn't make sense to end a sentence with a preposition, but it's often pretty natural in English, especially when the sentence is a question.

These sound more natural, at least in contemporary English:

Which shed should I take it from?

Which house should I send it to?

Which printer is it being printed from?*

*To me, a native speaker of American English, "printed from" sounds wrong in this sentence. I'd say "printed on" or even "printed at". But as the commenters have noted, this usage varies.

Ben Kovitz

Posted 2014-06-09T05:30:56.977

Reputation: 25 752

2IMO, both "from" and "on" are acceptable for a printer. "Which printer is this being printed from?" is pretty natural to me. – LinearZoetrope – 2014-06-09T07:14:44.513

3At least as a British English speaker, I don't think I would say that something is being printed "on" a printer, it sounds unusual to me. "Printed from" a printer is what I would probably use. – Chris Down – 2014-06-09T07:14:54.450

2"Which printer is printing it?" is maybe better. Avoids the to/from confusion. – Roddy – 2014-06-09T08:51:55.507

2To me, Which printer is it being printed [preposition]? is mostly awkward because of the two derivatives of *print*. So far as the specific preposition is concerned, I'd probably go for *Which unit is it being printed by?*, but *on, at, from* are certainly all "credible". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-06-09T13:32:08.750


In the English question, you have to start either by a W H pronoun like who, how, ...etc or by an auxiliary verb. It is unnatural to start a question by a preposition.


Posted 2014-06-09T05:30:56.977

Reputation: 434