Ending a Sentence with a Preposition


Visitors: 343

You must never end a sentence with a preposition! How often did you hear this in school? I have good news: you can end a sentence any way you choose to. Ending sentences with prepositions is something I looked into. Thoroughly.

Let's define a preposition. It's a connective word that shows the relationship (in terms of time, space, cause, ownership, association, accompaniment, or manner) between a noun (or pronoun) and some other word in the sentence. Think “relationship, " think “position, " when you think “preposition. "

Some of the most commonly used prepositions: about, above, across, after, against, along, amid, among, around, at, before, behind, below, beneath, beside, between, beyond, by, concerning, during, except, for, from, in, inside, into, instead, of, off, on, onto, out, over, past, pending, regarding, respecting, round, since, through, to, toward, under, until, unto, up, upon, with, within, without.

There are rules floating around-causing conflict and consternation-that were never really, truly, official grammar rules. They were often the personal preferences of people who liked to speak out on the subject. People in power. Like your fifth grade teacher or your great-aunt Matilda.

These good people are often the same ones who say (or said) we can never begin a sentence with “and, " “but, " “or, " “also, " or “however. " But they're mistaken. In both cases, it's okay if it makes for an easy-to-understand sentence. However, make sure to use such words in very informal communications.

Sometimes using a preposition at the end of a sentence (terminal preposition) is awkward, and sometimes it's better to use one at the end. For example:

Awkward: It is not easy to know that about which you are thinking.

Natural: It's not easy to know what you're thinking about.

Conclusion: If good communication is your goal, just make sure that the sentence is clear for the reader or listener. Don't become agitated if you create a good sentence that ends with a preposition.

Judy Vorfeld: Webmaster, Writer, Editor, and Photographer http://www.editingandwritingservices.com http://www.ossweb.com http://www.digifeld.com


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Stumbling over Sentence Fragments
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

Conversations With My Dog - An Indecent Preposition

by: Jean-Claude Koven (November 23, 2005) 
(Self Improvement/Attraction)

No is a Complete Sentence

by: Catherine Bruns (July 13, 2005) 
(Womens Interests)

What's Your Selling Sentence?

by: Mike McDaniel (January 28, 2005) 

Sentence Correction

by: Randy Paes (November 07, 2008) 
(Reference and Education/College University)

A Business In One Sentence

by: Catherine Franz (August 09, 2005) 

Finish This Sentence

by: Justin Lukasavige (April 28, 2008) 
(Self Improvement/Inspirational)

The Run-on Sentence: From Here To Eternity

by: Jean Fritz (April 28, 2005) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)

The Silent Death Sentence

by: Isla Campbell (July 31, 2008) 
(Cancer/Lung Mesothelioma Asbestos)

Depression Does Not Have to Be a Life Sentence

by: Susan P Denny (June 21, 2008) 
(Health and Fitness/Depression)

Stumbling over Sentence Fragments

by: Vivian Gilbert Zabel (December 12, 2005) 
(Writing and Speaking/Writing)