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“It still makes economic sense” to put on as much weight on as efficiently as you can, to minimize losses” feedlot owner Tom Fanning told Bloomberg.

https://www.voanews.com/a/mht-good-news-for-burger-lovers-beef-prices-fall/3092061.html

here:

to put on as much weight on as efficiently as you can

the second "on" here makes me confused!

2
  • 1
    "the second "on" here makes me confused!" - that's because it shouldn't be on there ;)
    – aaa90210
    Dec 4, 2017 at 23:11
  • 1
    The word "on" here is not being used as a preposition. If it were a preposition then it would have an object. Dec 5, 2017 at 1:28

2 Answers 2

34

There should only be one adverb, although it can be in either location:

  • to put on as much weight as efficiently as you can
  • to put as much weight on as efficiently as you can
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  • 7
    +1. This, incidentally, is a very common sort of mistake, including (especially?) by native speakers, though I think it's more common in speech than in writing. No one thinks that "put on X on" is correct, but it's very easy to get through "put on X" and then not be sure whether you'd already said the "on".
    – ruakh
    Dec 4, 2017 at 4:54
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    I'll bet the second "on" snuck itself in somewhere in the editing process. The second close-quote doesn't have a matching open-quote either, so frankly it smells like the final draft just never got proofread.
    – Lee
    Dec 4, 2017 at 5:48
  • @Lee: I know we're both guessing here. But I think the second "on" was there first, and was then changed to the first "on" (to avoid the semantical ambiguity between e.g. "to put on weight" and "to put weight on the table"), and they forgot to remove the initial (second) "on".
    – Flater
    Dec 4, 2017 at 12:13
  • The verbal phrase is "to put on" a dictionary link, or an explanation would make this a better and more detailed answer.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 4, 2017 at 15:31
  • I might go further than Mari-Lou and say that the idiom here is "put on weight." We can't generally use "put on" as a synonym for "gain" (or in this case "induce somebody else to gain"), e.g. if I get a raise at work, I haven't "put on income"; but "put on weight" is an idiom. (The OP clearly already knew this, though; they were just confused by the proofreading error.) Dec 4, 2017 at 19:17
1

As an aside to the original question, for me there is a difference between "to put on weight" and "to put weight on".

The first case implies that the subject and object are the same person. "I've been putting on weight" = "I am the one who is heavier now."

The second case sounds much less common to me. It implies the work of a farmer or animal breeder or anxious parent: Person A provides fattening food for Person-or-Animal B.

I'm guessing that the original "on" was the first one, and that, on re-reading, the writer thought: "Ah, it sounds as if the farmer is gaining weight. I should move that 'on' on a bit further, to avoid ambiguity."

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