What's the difference between the two? Is one more common than the other?


He's always dragging me to spooky places.

He's always dragging me around to spooky places.

2 Answers 2


Drag to is a more common expression than drag around to. The meaning is the same as used in the sentences you are suggesting.

Ngram drag me to vs drag me around to


The phrases are more or less identical, but there are some minor differences:

Firstly, dragging me around to can be used with an action as the object of the phrase, where dragging me to cannot, e.g.:

He's always dragging me around to say hello to his cousins.

Note that in this type of formulation, you cannot really use "dragging me to".

Secondly, while both phrases mean someone bringing you to a place against your desire (if not really against your will), dragging me around has a connotation of multiple targets, often in a single outing, while dragging me does not. Contrast:

Last night he dragged me around to his friends' houses.

Without the "around", this sentence might sound a bit odd to a native speaker, and seems to imply that all his friends' houses are in one location. It is merely a connotation, however, and would be understood with either construction. For a single target location, one would usually not use "around":

Last night he dragged me to his friend's house.

If used in the context of a single target, adding "around" often implies a more meandering path, while leaving it off implies a more direct route. Contrast:

Last night he dragged me around to his friend's house.


Last night he dragged me to his friend's house.

To a native speaker, the former sentence implies a more aimless goal (either literally more meandering or less intentional, or the target is merely one of a number of places you went but the only one you objected to), due to the addition of "around". The latter sounds more purposeful and direct. For example, if he said "Hey, let's go out to dinner and then maybe drop by my friend's house", one might say he is "dragging you around" to his friend's house (if you end up going there), while if he said "Let's go to my friend's house now," one would be more likely to say he is "dragging you" to the house.

All of that said, you can usually use these phrases interchangeably without fear of being misunderstood, with the exception of the action target described in my opening point.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.