I have often come across various posts that people make on any social media platform as, for example:

En route to the Taj Mahal.


En route Paris.

Although what I have been taught that it always has been only 'en route', without 'to'. What I feel is that it's a mass-mistake committed by so many people, that they have started to believe in the fact that it's also true (i.e., 'en route to').

Hence, I would like to have an even more expert view on this.

Although, I myself have done a bit of my own research:

-Historical comparison of en route to vs en route

Screenshot of OALD definition of 'en route'

So my inference has been that:

  • As the meaning 'en route' itself means while travelling from/to a place, hence, it's useless to add to in any sentence.

  • If one would look into the historical data, especially of British English, provided by Google, then both the words have been in existence but the mostly the old school writers prefer to use only en route instead of en route to. This can be easily distinguished by the usage of both of these choices.

Thereafter, I would like to finally know that if my research and inferences are correct.

  • 1
    The answer can be found in a dictionary. – michael.hor257k Nov 28 '16 at 13:29
  • 3
    En route: on the way; while travelling from/to a particular place We stopped for a picnic en route. en route (from…) (to…) The bus broke down en route from Boston to New York. (British English) en route (for…) a plane en route for Heathrow. oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/en-route – user66974 Nov 28 '16 at 13:37
  • 5
    The French is en route pour Paris. The expression came into English around 1800, when the word-for-word translation, en route for Paris, started out slightly more popular than en route to Paris. But around 1900, en route to Paris surpassed en route for Paris in popularity, and has been the favorite ever since. See Ngram. I don't see any justification for en route Paris. – Peter Shor Nov 28 '16 at 14:50
  • Whom are you talking about when you say “According to him”? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Nov 29 '16 at 7:35
  • 1
    While the meaning isn't exactly the same. I would think of it's usage in a sentence as paralleled by "travel(l)ing". So you can say it with to, like "I'm travelling to Paris" or "I'm en route to Paris", or you can use it on its own, like "Start the meeting without me. I'm en route!" If you mention the destination or origin, then you need to add a preposition. It can exist on its own and definitely imply "travelling from/to a place", but only when you don't explicitly mention that place. – Benny Lewis May 16 '17 at 15:35

It depends. If you are "en route to the party," then you use "en route to." If you are "stopping for lunch en route," then you use "en route."

Dictionary.com shows the "en route from" sentence structure and the "en route" sentence structure: "The plane crashed en route from Cairo to Athens," and "He reads en route."

Merriam-Webster shows the "en route to" sentence structure: "I finished my homework en route to school."


If you just say 'en route Paris', the reader doesn't know if you're en route TO Paris, or en route FROM Paris.And I agree with the above, if you're stopping to buy something en route, it needs neither a to or a from.


In high-level protocol office procedures with the military, we were always taught to use 'en route' (and omit 'to') because it inferred a person/vehicle was 'on the way to' a destination, thereby rendering 'en route to' redundant.

  • 2
    So does on my way, however, you still write I am on my way to France rather than I am on my way France. Even in French they would say Je suis en route pour Paris – JJ for Transparency and Monica Jun 23 '18 at 3:58
  • -1 because the question does not ask about such scenarios as "high-level protocol office procedures with the military," but about everyday usage, in which by the way, redundancy is often the norm and serves to emphasize. – Arm the good guys in America Sep 29 '18 at 5:14

Replace en route with on the way, and the usage is the same:

Before heading to the party we're grabbing drinks en route.
Before heading to the party we're grabbing drinks on the way.

I lost my luggage en route to London.
I lost my luggage on the way to London.

"I am en route from Los Angeles now, but there is heavy traffic going out," she said. "It will be another 3 hours before I arrive."
"I am on the way from Los Angeles now, but there is heavy traffic going out," she said. "It will be another 3 hours before I arrive."

When describing origin or destination, you'd have to use to and from just the same.

  • Are you quoting material? If so, please provide proper attribution. – Arm the good guys in America Sep 29 '18 at 5:11
  • I'm not quoting material. They're example sentences I made up. – psosuna Oct 1 '18 at 15:04

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