I know that it usually is "crossing someone out", like:

I:Why is her name crossed out?

Person: Because she is not going.

But my question is whether it will sound natural in "on the list" is included in a few contexts? Will it sound unnatural or natural, if not resundant in few cases...

I: Why is her name crossed out on the list?

  • You've demonstrated in your first example that there are circumstances where "on the list" is redundant. Where it will not be redundant is where that phrase sets context, to tell "Person" that "I" is talking about the list. Please refine your question: what do you actually want to know? – Andrew Leach Jun 15 at 15:08
  • Writing it 'On the list, why is her name crossed out?' makes more sense, but, English being English, "Why is her name crossed out on the list?" is what I'd expect to hear. I'd use the former in formal contexts, the latter in conversation (hence the double inverted commas). – Edwin Ashworth Jun 15 at 15:27
  • 1
    More idiomatic is 'Why is her name crossed off the list?' // It's interesting to consider that there is a physical but also a notional list. – Edwin Ashworth Jun 15 at 15:51

If you have to include “the list”, your example, although acceptable, feels a little inelegant to me. I would prefer to associate “name” and “list” more closely:

Why is her name on the list crossed out?

This reduces the sentence to two ideas, making it snappier.

Another possibility is to change the preposition to “from”, which conveys the idea of removal:

Why is her name crossed out from the list?

However one might argue that this is illogical as the name is still there, even though it has a line through it.

In this case one might cast the whole sentence in a figurative sense and say:

Why has she been removed from the list?

The act of crossing out her name on a paper document is equivalent to removing her from the collection of people listed there.

But it’s really a matter of individual stylistic preference.


In the context of list, the standard phrase is

Her name was crossed off the list.

(At least, in US English.)

Definition of to cross off from Merriam Webster):

to draw a line through (a name or item on a list) Example: We can cross her off our list of potential donors.

Your proposed sentence would be understood, but the one I've provided is more standard.

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