It seems like the phrase "X from which Y comes from" shouldn't be correct, because the word "from" is repeated. I'm not sure if I should paraphrase it, and I'm also not sure how to do it nicely.

For example: "I'd like to show you the text from which this quote comes from".

  • @KillingTime I edited the question and added an example. Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 22:44
  • 3
    Too many froms. You only need one. Two is ungrammatical there.
    – Robusto
    Commented Mar 18, 2020 at 22:47

1 Answer 1


In the context of prescriptivism, "I'd like to show you the text from which this quote comes from" is definitely incorrect.

(In the context of descriptivism, the linguist Mark Liberman seems to find it debatable whether this kind of construction is ungrammatical for all speakers. But that isn't very relevant if you're asking for advice on how to phrase something nicely.)

The following constructions would be generally recognized as grammatical:

  • "I'd like to show you the text (that/which) this quote comes from".

    Because the relative clause has an explicit subject ("this quote"), you have the option of starting it with "that" "which", or neither. Some prescriptivists, especially American ones, regard "which" as a bad choice at the start of a "restrictive relative clause" like this, but there is also an opposing tradition of language criticism—particularly common among linguists, I think—that considers the prejudice against this use of which to be misguided. Some prescriptivists might say that the "stranding" of the preposition "from" is either informal or "technically ungrammatical" or something like that, but even among prescriptivists, that is widely considered to be an old-fashioned complaint, or a "rule" that you don't actually need to follow.

  • "I'd like to show you the text from which this quote comes".

    This option is generally accepted as grammatical, but may come across as stilted or awkward wording. The linguistic term for placing the preposition at the start of the relative clause along with the relative pronoun is "pied-piping". In many contexts, it comes across as notably formal in English.

As a writer, you would have various options for expressing the same idea with different wording. You could reword using another verb with a similar meaning, such as "the text from which this quote originates", or you could use an entirely different construction, such as "I'd like to show you the source text of this quote" or " "I'd like to show you the text that is the source of this quotation".

  • Thank you, this was very informative! Commented Mar 19, 2020 at 12:44

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