If I'm not mistaken *"Where did you move from Paris to?", while "Where did you move to from Paris?" as well as both "You moved from Paris to London" and "You moved to London from Paris"(at least with the proper context and intonation) seem okay. How does this contrast arise? (I'm mostly interested in an explanation in term of Chomskian generative grammar)

  • 6
    "Where did you move from Paris to" sounds OK to me. Dec 2, 2018 at 1:00
  • 1
    Try a discourse "I moved from Nice to Paris, and then from Paris to (inaudible Tralfamadore)". "Where did you from Paris to?".
    – user6726
    Dec 2, 2018 at 2:02
  • 2
    I find "Where did you move from Paris to?" completely grammatical and normal (British English native speaker).
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 2, 2018 at 11:51
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    It looks OK. The prenuclear "where" is complement of the prep "to": "Where did you move from Paris to __?"
    – BillJ
    Dec 2, 2018 at 16:46
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    Perfectly cromulent sentence in my view.
    – Eleshar
    Dec 2, 2018 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


The example is okay if you get the stress right. There is some tendency to put the main sentence stress on "Paris", taking the focus to be "Paris", but that gives a bad result:

*Where did you move from Paris to?

Actually, the focus is the object of "to" or the prepositional phrase "to where", and in that case, the main stress has to on the logical object of "to" or on what is left of the prepositional phrase after the question word has been fronted:

Where did you move from Paris to?
Where did you move from Paris to?

  • 4
    I'd say it's even OK with stress on Paris in a context where you know someone moved between a series of cities: "From London I moved to Paris..." "And where did you move from Paris to?"
    – TKR
    Dec 3, 2018 at 2:25
  • @TKR, Good point.
    – Greg Lee
    Dec 3, 2018 at 2:32

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