I am not a native English speaker and I tend to construct sentences like "It is an interesting question, that.". My girlfriend who is a native English speaker always tells me that I am talking like yoda everytime I construct such kind of sentences. So I wonder if grammatically speaking sentences of the type just mentioned are correct or not. I guess it could also be that it is just a matter of style. I think I have seen this pattern of sentences in some academic books, specially from the 90's. So my doubt is essentially whether the two following sentences are both grammatically correct.

(1) That is an interesting question.

(2) It is an interesting question, that.

Based on some comments, I think it might be helpful to know that I am a Spanish native speaker, and in Spanish such pattern of sentences are common too. So I guess my Spanish could be interferring with my English usage.

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    I don't think you'd have seen things like your example #2 in "academic books" - it's very much a colloquial spoken usage to "reduplicate" the pronominal reference (it, that) in this way. Compare the structurally similar form I'm a Brit, me. Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 17:38
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    I've seen it in fiction, especially, I'm thinking, British fiction or fiction that is trying to mimic upper-class speech. There's nothing wrong with it, but it's not idiomatic in the US.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 17:44
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    The construction in It's an interesting question, that is called Right-Dislocation. Left-Dislocation would be something like That question, it's an interesting one.. Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 18:03
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    @JohnLawler, that is quite helpful, thanks a lot!
    – Lalo
    Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 18:06
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    "That's an interesting question" would probably be used 85% of the time by educated Anglophones. 'That is an interesting question!" perhaps 10% of the time, usually with the stress indicated, to convey the importance of the matter and appreciation for the question-raiser's perceptiveness. "It's an interesting question, that" perhaps 2% of the time, showing reflection on the issue. "It is an interesting question, that" perhaps never (mixed registers). (Don't forget "Interesting question!") Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 18:47

1 Answer 1


In Linguistics, ending a phrase with a preposition is called "preposition stranding" (Ex. Winning the lottery is something to be delighted about VS Something to be delighted about is winning the lottery).

Purists tend to reject it, as they do with "split infinitives" (It is better to drive carefully especially in urban areas VS It is better to carefully drive especially in urban areas... or To go boldly where no man has been before VS To boldly go where no man has been before) and "double negation" (Standard British English: I bought nothing at the market VS Western Irish English(possibly): I didn't buy nothing at the market).

However, it occurs more and more frequently today, especially in spoken English but also in written English. It sounds more informal and laid-back, and so it is acceptable in these contexts.

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    'That' is not a preposition. Commented Apr 4, 2020 at 18:40

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