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Do I always need a preposition when I say..

"I traveled (in) NY?"

Can I simply say, "I traveled NY"?

  • 1
    You don't need a preposition when you say "traveled the world", but I think that's a special case. Consider this Ngram. You get nearly the same results if you spell travelled with 2 l's, showing the grammar is the same in the U.K. – Peter Shor Aug 20 '15 at 16:25
  • What do you find when you carry out a Google search for "travel(l)ed New York"? Are the first results relevant? – Edwin Ashworth Aug 20 '15 at 16:26
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    @Peter The transitive (or surface-transitive, if seen as prepositional deletions?) constructions "travel(l)ed the continent" and certainly "travelled the state" are not uncommon. I think it's the 'journeyed across' sense. Probably, substituting individual states would not be seen as unacceptable. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 20 '15 at 16:29
  • @EdwinAshworth But travelled the West Country has a different meaning to travelled to the West Country. – WS2 Aug 20 '15 at 16:55
  • @EdwinAshworth - I agree. Could you make this an Answer, please? – aparente001 Aug 23 '15 at 13:12
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I'd say that there is a difference in meaning.

I travelled in New York (State) = I went here and there in NY State.

but

I travelled New York (State) = I covered most of the state. I journeyed widely.

The transitive (or surface-transitive, if seen as prepositional deletions?) constructions "travel(l)ed the world", "travelled the continent" and certainly "travelled the state" are not uncommon. I think it's the 'journeyed widely throughout', 'covered the length and breadth of' sense. Probably, substituting individual states would not be seen as unacceptable. Anything smaller, like a region, wouldn't sound too good (*/?I travelled the Brecon Beacons) (though the preposition chosen here might well be 'around').

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The way that sounds correct should be "traveled to NY", but if you mean you traveled inside the boundary of NY, "traveled in NY" should be correct. I hope I helped. :)

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The use, or not, of the preposition depends on your intended sense. If you want to convey that you traversed NY, no preposition is needed. If you want to convey that you traveled inside NY, the preposition is needed.

From The Free Dictionary:

travel

v.intr.

  1. a. To go from one place to another, as on a trip; journey.

v.tr.

To pass or journey over or through; traverse

  • I think the v. tr. definition is meant for constructions like "traveled the king's road" or "traveled the New Jersey turnpike", not "traveled New York". – Peter Shor Aug 20 '15 at 18:14
  • I think you're putting the cart before the horse. Although I cite the dictionary as a reference and use it as a device to save myself the work of distilling or extracting definitions, what informs (and sometimes misinforms) my understanding of what words mean is how I've encountered them in use. – JEL Aug 20 '15 at 18:34
  • @PeterShor, Here are three (of the many possible) extant uses illustrating the case: "Jake traveled New York State ..." Blackman Upick Apple Farm; "Hochul, who has traveled New York State ..." FIT Newsroom; "The photographer Paul Nathan and his wife Nadine Rubin Nathan have traveled New York ..." HuffPost Books. – JEL Aug 20 '15 at 18:57
  • ... and in none of these three uses does it mean they traversed New York, if by traverse you mean go through New York on your way to somewhere else. I see there is another definition of traverse New York which does match what travel New York actually means when it is used (but that definition wouldn't contrast with traveled inside New York). – Peter Shor Aug 20 '15 at 19:07
  • @PeterShor, your second sight (forgive the word play) is mostly accurate; and again, you've reversed the actual way things work. In an absolute sense, my use determines the definition, not the other way around. Obviously, there's a feedback loop with the dictionary as a reference (and a lexicon as a compilation) and the actual senses of words in use, but the second, not the former, is the original source. – JEL Aug 20 '15 at 19:15
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No one would argue the validity of "Traveled in NY." However no one is really sure about "Traveled NY." Go with the tried and true way.

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