— Where are you going?
— I'm going to Paris.


— Where are you going to?
— I'm going to Paris.

I'm pretty sure the first one is correct, but what about the second?

  • 7
    "Where are you going to" seems to be quite popular among foreign learners whose mother tongue is German. That's probably because in German, "Where are you going" (wo gehen Sie) would be wrong, the correct form being wo gehen Sie hin. So those people try to mimic that hin in English by adding a to (though, of course, technically hin is not a preposition, but rather a part of the split-up interrogative wohin, "'where' as an indication of direction", as opposed to a simple wo, "'where' as an indication of position, with no indication of direction").
    – RegDwigнt
    Nov 2, 2010 at 10:28
  • This is not the main point of the question, but the space before the question mark seems nonstandard at best. See english.stackexchange.com/questions/4645/…. Nov 2, 2010 at 18:06
  • @TsuyoshiIto : My fault, I am French :)
    – hoang
    May 23, 2012 at 12:50
  • 1
    @RegDwightΒВB Isn’t German wohin English whither?
    – tchrist
    Jun 15, 2012 at 12:24

4 Answers 4


The “to” in “Where are you going to?” sounds superfluous to me just because “Where are you going?” is perfectly fine and I cannot think of any reason to add “to” to it.

The reason why “Where are you going to?” sounds strange is not because the sentence ends with a preposition. For example, there is nothing wrong with the sentence “Who are you talking to?”


It's worth checking out the other preposition threads on the site. I especially like

Prepositions at the end of sentence and whom

which states ending on a preposition is acceptable usage, and only frowned on because of an over-exertion of Latin rules by grammarians.


Both examples are quite acceptable in colloquial speech, though the former avoids the hanging preposition, so is preferable to the prescriptivists. Also, the word "where" has subsumed the dative sense ("to where", or "whither" in archaic or dated formal English.)

In any case, I would consider three variant forms, which are:

  1. Where are you going [to]? (most common)

  2. To where are you going? (grammatically more "correct", though perhaps the preposition is a bit redundant)

  3. Whither go you? (archaic, but I do like how succinct it is)

P.S. Regarding hanging prepositions, even many men of letters in the past have had no qualms about using them; it seems to be a grammatical rule artificially copied over from Latin at some point.

  • 2
    Ooh, I need to start asking "whither goest thou" instead of "where ya goin'". :-)
    – Marthaª
    Nov 2, 2010 at 16:35
  • @Martha: Indeed! That's definitely the coolest way to speak. (Note that you would use "thou" in familiar situations and "you" in formal ones.) Amazingly, "thou" is still somewhat in use in Northern England/Lowland Scotland.
    – Noldorin
    Nov 3, 2010 at 13:11
  • 1
    I find it interesting that with 'get' otoh, you would need the preposition: 'where do you need to get?' vs 'where do you need to get TO'? That's probably for clarity, since get has a whole lot of other meanings.
    – Daniel
    Oct 30, 2020 at 19:27
  • @Daniel Also, if you get in(to) a taxi, the driver will probably ask you the abbreviated question "where to?" with the to. In its abbreviated form, this question seems to require the to.
    – Brandin
    Jun 7, 2022 at 11:54

Both are correct, "where are you going?" and "where are you going to".

Some questions need a preposition at the end, some do not. For example:

  • "How many countries have you been to?" (preposition needed)
  • "Where are you going?" (preposition not needed).

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