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  • Prices vary state to state.
  • Prices vary from state to state.

Is either more appropriate or ungrammatical?

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I deleted the second question because a) we prefer to have one question per question and b) it is way too basic for this site. It could be a better fit on our proposed sister site for English language learners, though. –  RegDwigнt Sep 21 '12 at 11:13

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Conversationally, "Prices vary state to state" is perfectly OK, as "from" should be optional in this case. Formally, however, "prices vary from state to state" would be more appropriate.

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Prices vary state to state is almost certainly found, but, if you want to be above censure, Prices vary from state to state is the one to use.

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There are thousands of instances of vary / change day to day in Google Books. The idea that eliding "from" in such constructions is somehow "incorrect" seems rather anal to me. –  FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 13:43
    
@FumbleFingers: I wasn't passing judgement. Just offering pragmatic advice. –  Barrie England Sep 21 '12 at 13:47
    
I don't think I was passing judgement on your answer as such - just making the (additional) point that I personally wouldn't be too concerned about avoiding censure from anyone who wanted to take issue with the shortened form. It seems to me more a "neutral" issue of style, rather than a choice of phrasing from which someone might draw conclusions about your linguistic competence. –  FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 14:07
    
@FumbleFingers: Understood. –  Barrie England Sep 21 '12 at 17:39
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On reflection, I suppose it's obvious that at least some people would say the full form is the "correct" form, so your answer itself is "above censure", in that it acknowledges that fact without explicitly supporting the position. So +1 for what I now see as a solidly descriptivist stance! –  FumbleFingers Sep 21 '12 at 17:58

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