When querying:

Where is your mother at?

Is that considered to be proper English language usage?

Alternatively, you could just state more simply:

Where is your mother?

Is adding the trailing preposition considered slang here, does it have no value and should it just be eliminated?

  • This is a duplicate, but I will all too gladly admit that I myself have so far failed at finding the original. Perhaps others have more luck. That is to say, be prepared to have it closed or even merged in the near future, but until then be prepared to get some answers.
    – RegDwigнt
    Dec 25, 2013 at 22:47
  • Yes, it is certainly grammatical. What do you mean by “proper”? Native speakers say that sort of thing all the time. Some people who think they should be telling other people how to talk like to whine about this usage, but they cannot stop it. There’s also the old hipster statement about “That’s where it’s at!” which means something that is really cool. This is the best possible answer to your question. Redundancy in communication serves its own legitimate purposes.
    – tchrist
    Dec 25, 2013 at 23:32
  • 2
    It certainly isn’t “slang”, which I suspect means something other than what you think it does. That terminal at can at times serve some distinct purpose, as this Language Log article illustrates. But do please notice how that particular article has been filed under peeving. It’s become something of a shibboleth. I wouldn’t worry about it in your own speech, but would advise avoiding it in formal writing outside the sorts of cases that the Language Log article illustrates.
    – tchrist
    Dec 25, 2013 at 23:43
  • Well, I glanced at those other two threads, and found that their answers were in some cases wrong. For example, "Where are you going to?" is grammatical and is standard English (according to the 2002 reference grammar CGEL). Usually if a preposition is used, it is either "to" or "from" and it is stranded; and the use of "at" is found in idiomatic "Where are we at?".
    – F.E.
    Dec 26, 2013 at 4:02

2 Answers 2


It is not standard English, but it is quite common among some groups.

It is, as you say, redundant.

You are welcome to eliminate it from your own usage, but neither you nor I, nor even the massed users of ELU, have the power to eliminate it from English.


It's about as grammatical as "Where is your mother going to?". It's perfectly fine to have a preposition as well as the interrogative, because where, as demonstrated, doesn't just ask for an adverbial, but also for the object of a prepositional phrase determining a location. (The core idea of where).

As for is redundancy, I can't immediately think of situations where it necessarily clearly states the difference of movement vs static (I.e. to vs at), but that doesn't mean you can't say it. The fact that it's in common practice in some dialects makes it just as usable. However, if you don't want to be associated with those dialects/want to speak "Standard Oxford English", I suggest you don't use it. It isn't in common practice there.

  • 1
    Why the down vote for this answer?
    – WilliamKF
    Dec 26, 2013 at 0:13
  • I think people think that I decided to stigmatise it's usage in the second paragraph. I use this construction myself... I don't have a problem with it.
    – Ledda
    Dec 26, 2013 at 2:02
  • @ WilliamKF - you will find, unfortunately, many downvotes without explanation. One reason might be that people prefer answers with sources. Dec 26, 2013 at 4:54
  • I can understand, then, if I didn't provide a source.
    – Ledda
    Dec 26, 2013 at 5:19
  • I can't manage to reconcile 'It's about as grammatical as "Where is your mother going to?" ' with Colin's 'It is not standard English'. Though I didn't downvote, as it's still the 'be charitable to all' season. Dec 26, 2013 at 12:04

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