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Prepositions at the End of Question Clauses

Questions Ending with Prepositions

Questions with prepositions at the end of the clause can be challenging for students. The word order of these questions is often different from the word order students use in their native language. This lesson makes students aware of these questions and also gives students the opportunity to practice using the structure.


Introducing the Topic

Write the following on the board and ask students to rearrange the words to form grammatically correct questions:

1. the present is for who ?
2. they from where are ?

Ask students to identify the prepositions in these questions. Elicit that the prepositions go at the end of the clause in the two examples above.

Explain that some questions in English have a preposition at the end of the clause. Give students a copy of the chart below and ask them to look at the examples of “wh” questions with whowhatwherewhich, and whose. Point out that each question has a preposition at the end of the clause.


 Questions with Prepositions at the End of the Clause

Who are you waiting for?
Who are they with?
Who did you sit with at the meeting?
What are you working on?
What are you looking at?
What was the meeting about?
Where is she from?
Where did this come from?
Which school did you go to?
Which restaurant should we eat at?
Which candidate are they going to vote for?
Whose house did they go to?
Whose problems were they talking about?
Whose party were they at last night?

Ask students if they can think of any additional examples. Then, have them complete the two practice activities below.


Practice 1

Put the following questions in order.  

1. this bag belong who to does ?

2. for looking who were you ?

3. in which group you are ?

4. is this beautiful gift from who ?

5. the book was written by who ?

6. about what the article is ?

7. at looking who was John ?

8. from he where is ?

9. were you about talking what I arrived when ?

10. whose clients about talking they are ?


Practice 2

Work with a partner. Say what the question is. Use the underlined preposition in your question. There may be more than one possible solution.

1. Question:

Answer: The movie was directed by Michael Bay.

2. Question:

Answer: The cake is for John.  It’s his 40th birthday today.

3. Question:

Answer: Our office is close to City Hall.

4. Question:

Answer: Kevin talked about changes to the company’s commission structure.

5. Question:

Answer: Spain played against Holland in the final game of the 2010 World Cup.

6. Question:

Answer: I think she might be from Korea, but I’m not sure.

7. Question:

Answer: I think they went in Kate’s office

8. Question:

Answer: I presented after Mike.

9. Question:

Answer: I think they’re from Mexico.



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