I was astonished this morning when I read about a British person who was quoted as saying something like: “He did it right IN FRONT ME.”
Here in the States, we must say “in front OF me.”
Do British people regularly drop the preposition?
No. Dropping the preposition is equally as incorrect in the UK as it is in the US.
You say he was ‘quoted as saying something like…’ so perhaps iit is a misquote.
Hi James M,
I can only assume that the speaker wasn’t very clear or possibly you misheard. If you say it quickly enough, the ‘of’ could get lost as I can show.
Thank you very much, Beeeneees and Alan. It could have been a typo. But the writer of the article was presumably so astonished that he put the words “in front me” in quotation marks, as if to say: Dear readers, these are his exact words. (The British gentleman was speaking to the committee that is investigating naughty conduct by some newspapers.)
Of course, quotation marks don’t necessarily signal surprise. The author may simply have wanted to make it clear that those were the man’s actual words, and the omission of “of” could still be a typo.
Thank you, Dozy. I have just done some googling, and I have reached the following conclusions:
(1)) Most of the Google results quote him as using “of.”
(2) About 7 results use quotation marks around “in front me.”
(a) It could have been a typo.
(b) The gentleman could have been nervous (I think he had served jail time for being a naughty journalist) and accidentally left out the
“of.” Most newspapers may have decided to tidy up his grammar by adding the “of” in their reports.
Thanks again to all of you. I can sleep peacefully now that I know that the British DO use “of” – as do we Americans.