Wednesday, February 14, 2007

"Celia? It's the Goldman. What say we fire up the old segway and find a nice quiet field to do long division in? Sorry, I mean 'in which to do long division'. Sorry, everybody!"
--Neil Goldman

Now, here, Neil is correcting his use of ending a sentance with a preposition. People say you have bad grammar when you do this. Not so! Read on, good friends:


Ending a Sentence with a Preposition

© Copyright 2003, Jim Loy

People sometimes warn us against ending a sentence with a preposition. An example is "That is the house I live in," which can be written slightly more clearly as "I live in that house." I say "more clearly" because the prepositional phrase is "in that house," which is not as clear in the first example. If a sentence is unusually long, and the ending preposition will be a long distance from its object, then it is best to avoid ending with the preposition. Apparently Latin has a rule against ending a sentence with a preposition. English has no such rule. It is sometimes preferable to avoid ending with a preposition, and sometimes it is preferable to end with a preposition. "Where are you from" is more natural than "From where are you."

When Winston Churchill was once criticized for ending a sentence in a preposition, responded, "That is the kind of thing up with which I will not put." Of course, he was making fun of the nonexistant "rule."

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