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Which of these sentences are proper? :

  1. If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could we direct our questions?

  2. If we have further questions with regards to x&y, to whom could we direct our questions to?

Or is it true that both are grammatical and either one could do?

  • 3
    There's a horrible example of this in 'Live and Let Die' But in this ever changing world in which we live in. – nicodemus13 Jun 27 '12 at 17:22
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No, the first one is grammatical, but the second one is not.

The reason is the repeated to. When you move the interrogative pronoun whom to the front of the question, it turns out to be the object of the preposition to. So moving it splits a phrase. This is OK, and you can just leave the to at the end.

  • Whom could we direct our questions to?

However, if you're going to use whom (most people would use who), you probably will want to Pied-pipe the preposition to along with it, to keep the phrase together.

  • To whom could we direct our questions?

What you don't do is copy to whom to the front and also keep to at the end.

  • *To whom could we direct our questions to?
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  • 1
    Haj Ross tells me that this phenomenon is called "double-dipping". – John Lawler Aug 22 '14 at 17:00
  • How very amusing. If you say it, everyone kowtows, if I say it, everyone jumps on me. Why is that? Hm? english.stackexchange.com/questions/517291/… For whom does the bell actually toll? :) – Lambie Nov 5 '19 at 17:29
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    It is worth saying that we are dealing with what might be called a 'transitional redundancy'. English usage has been moving away from two rules: 1) that the a relative pronoun in the (indirect) object role should inflect to 'whom'; 2) that prepositions should not be left to the end of a sentence or clause (the so called 'dangling preposition'). This sentence points in both directions. My guess is that it is spoken rather than written (and so could not have benefitted from editing). However, I would argue that the redundant final 'to' is not strictly a a fault of grammar. – Tuffy Nov 5 '19 at 17:52
  • @Tuffy Written and spoken English are not necessarily the same. That said, putting in two tos is really bad. Now,when people speak fast, they sometimes do that inadvertently. If you asked them to repeat what they said, they would probably catch their own mistake. Fault of grammar? No,it is not grammar's fault, it is a speaker's mistake. – Lambie Nov 5 '19 at 17:58
  • @Lambie Exactly. – Tuffy Nov 5 '19 at 19:06
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To whom would we direct our questions?

The second to is superfluous.

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2

The usual way of putting it would be If we have further questions about x&y, who should we ask?

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  • 1
    '... whom should we ask?' – nicodemus13 Jun 27 '12 at 17:20
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Who could we direct our questions to?

is also correct according to modern grammarians.

I think who is used more than whom in modern English

According to the traditional grammarians, the correct form is:

To whom could we direct our questions ?

I am not sure the question given below is acceptable either to traditional grammarians or modern grammarians

Whom could we direct our questions to?

The use of preposition both in the beginning and at the end of question is not grammatical.

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  • 1
    Never use a preposition to end a sentence with! – Hot Licks Nov 5 '19 at 3:02
  • We can happily end a sentence with a preposition. – successive suspension Nov 5 '19 at 3:14

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