Inspired by the picture below (thanks to brainlesstaless), when I got home I called to my wife: "Miel, soy casa". After a short pause, she started laughing.

I know in Spanish this sentence makes no sense, but it is correct in English. What leads to the dropping of prepositions? How come this dropping is acceptable in some sentences, and not in others?

Hi Honey, I'm home

  • 1
    Welcome to SE Linguistics. "(Hi) Honey, I'm home" is perfectly fine and used frequently. However, I think your question would fit better with SE English Language and Usage, as SE Linguistics is not concerned with language-specific issues on what is grammatical or not.
    – robert
    May 14, 2014 at 9:28
  • What is your question? Your title seems to assume that “Honey, I'm home” is correct, but the body is asking if it actually is.
    – dainichi
    May 14, 2014 at 9:48
  • @dainichi point taken. Fixed the title.
    – mai
    May 14, 2014 at 9:53
  • Before the edit, your question seemed to be about null prepositions. After the edit, it seems to be asking if a particular sentence is grammatical. The former seems on-topic here, and the latter doesn't. What exactly are you going for? Ref. linguistics.as.nyu.edu/docs/CP/2345/collins-2007-nyuwpl.pdf
    – prash
    May 14, 2014 at 10:06
  • @prash I would like to keep this as a question about null prepositions (unknown term for me prior to your comment). Only by translating this into Spanish, it made me thinking whether it is correct or not. Also, after your comment, my second question would be if there are null prepositions in Spanish?
    – mai
    May 14, 2014 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


Because home is not only a noun: it is also an adverb. This is not predictable: it just happens to be a fact about English.

  • The paper that I mentioned earlier goes into details of why this is a more complex phenomenon.
    – prash
    May 14, 2014 at 18:03
  • @ColinFine, home is also an adverb - that is something new for me and it is a good starting point in answering my question.
    – mai
    May 15, 2014 at 8:37
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    Good, but wouldn't suggest that it's just some unanalyzable quirk of English. Compare the determiner-free nach Hause and zu Hause in German, suggesting fixed adverbial expressions. Oct 9, 2018 at 11:11
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    @LukeSawczak: true. And in Latin, domus is one of the few common (non-proper) nouns which has a distinct locative case.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 9, 2018 at 21:12
  • @LukeSawczak it is not a quirk of English. In Russian and Hebrew it is also an adverb, in both meanings, be home and go home.
    – Anixx
    Oct 28, 2021 at 17:01

Because it's two different languages and one simply cannot translate a concept word by word from one language to another. Otherwise, you just sound dumb.

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    Welcome to Linguistics! This post would benefit from adding further details. Being a one-line post, it may attract downvotes and criticism. Also please note that we appreciate posts based on scientific research, while this one seems to be solely based on "common sense". Please edit it to add further relevant information — preferably with references to credible sources.
    – bytebuster
    Oct 9, 2018 at 7:10

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