Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1

    Ending a sentence with a preposition

    I was told one should never end a sentence with a proposition. The sentence I want to use is, "The State of New York has recently been on a campaign to enforce a law that many New Jersey businesses are not fully aware of". Is this correct or do I need to take out "of"? Thanks.

  2. Mister Micawber's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Sep 2004
    • Posts: 1,857
    #2

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    .
    If you are writing formally, then try not to end with the preposition: of which many NJ businesses are not fully aware. In spoken and casual written English, the practice is common and acceptable, and in some cases unavoidable: What do you want to know for?
    .

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 2,081
    #3

    Smile Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    I have inquired about this issue one or two times at this forum. Teachers are usually replying in the same manner as Mister Micawber did. Nevertheless, the point is that in most books on English language (grammar, style, etc.) one can find many sentences that are finished with a preposition. After figuring this out, I don't hesitate when I want to end a sentence with a preposition (certainly, if this sentence looks better then), I just do it. Of course, referees of my work may always say "You're wrong," and I cannot say anything, because I am non-native English speaker. What can I do? I am just laughing on this, as I am aware that my English will always be treated like this--"You're a non-native English speaker, my boy." And that's fine, I think--it's true, isn't it?

    Best wishes,
    Nyggus

  3. #4

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    Here is an old joke on not ending with a preposition -
    A new student arrives on campus and is looking for the
    library.
    Student to a passerby: Where's the library at?
    Passerby, who is a prof: Young man, you should not end your sentence with a preposition.
    Student: OK. Where is the library at, <expletive>
    Last edited by englishstudent; 06-Jul-2006 at 17:41.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jan 2006
    • Posts: 2,081
    #5

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by englishstudent
    Here is an old joke on not ending with a preposition -
    A new student arrives on campus and is looking for the
    library.
    Student to a paserby: Where's the library at?
    Passerby, who is a prof: Young man, you should not end your sentence with a preposition.
    Student: OK. Where is the library at, <expletive>

  4. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #6

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    The idea that you should never end a sentence with a preposition is a sort of early urban myth. It took hold in the 18th century and was formulated by a man called Robert Lowth. He wasn't a professional linguist or grammarian (in fact, he was a bishop), but he wrote a book called Short Introduction to English Grammar. It actually wasn't a very good grammar book, but one rule he invented has been insisted on by some people ever since.

    Lowth said that we should avoid ending a sentence with a presposition if we could decently avoid it. Lots of people misunderstood this to mean we should never end a sentence with a preposition, but that's not quite what Lowth said. But even what Lowth said was wrong: sentences ending with a preposition have always been a feature of English.

    What happened next was that educated people read Lowth's book and tried to keep to his rules, while other people, who were not so well educated, continued speaking the way they had always spoken. As a result, only the uneducated people ended sentences with prepositions, and so it came to be seen as "uneducated" and therefore "wrong".

    Today, this (and other) points of grammar are being reassessed, and there is a growing feeling among educated writers that it's OK to end sentences with prepositions, as long as you don't overdo it. Text books for non-native learners of English are now more likely to teach the preposition-at-end-of-sentence construction.

    Still, some people still object to this construction, so in very formal writing (such as a job application) it is perhaps wise to stick to the alternative ("...of which many businesses are not aware"). That construction is not wrong, although to many speakers it sounds a bit pompous.

    However, please note that prepositions which are part of a phrasal verb are exempt from this discussion. When Winston Churchill allegedly said (or wrote -- the stories differ), "This is the kind of English up with which I will not put," in order to make the point that the rule is very silly, he overstated the case. "Up" is actually part of the phrasal verb "to put up", and cannot be separated from it -- even the most traditionalist of grammarians would agree on that point. The construction should be: "This is the kind of English with which I will not put up," although that is admittedly much less elegant than "This is the kind of English I will not put up with."

  5. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552
    #7

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    And while I think about it, there are some sentences where you cannot avoid putting the preposition at the end. Here's one:

    "This rule has always been insisted on."

    That's not a phrasal verb -- "on" is a true preposition here. But it's very difficult to avoid putting it at the end of the sentence without changing it to the active voice: "People have always insisted on this rule."

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • (Afan) Oromo
      • Home Country:
      • Aaland
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 475
    #8

    Re: Ending a sentence with a preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by rewboss
    And while I think about it, there are some sentences where you cannot avoid putting the preposition at the end. Here's one:
    `
    "This rule has always been insisted on."
    `
    That's not a phrasal verb -- "on" is a true preposition here. But it's very difficult to avoid putting it at the end of the sentence without changing it to the active voice: "People have always insisted on this rule."
    another one:
    [Something] is referred to as...

Similar Threads

  1. Ending a sentence with a prepesition
    By kkstrub in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 05-May-2006, 23:48
  2. Preposition ending a sentence
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 08-Mar-2006, 13:08
  3. ending with preposition (?)
    By Unregistered Luca in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-Feb-2006, 05:04
  4. Sentence ending with preposition
    By carol_0222 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-Jan-2006, 07:01
  5. ending a sentence
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 25-Oct-2003, 01:23

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •