Monday, September 12, 2011

Prepositions at the End

Most adults remember few grammar rules.  One that I'm sure will pop up for most is the "never end a sentence with a preposition" rule that they were taught from grade school to high school.  This rule causes you to write stuffy, pedantic sentences that no one would ever say out loud.

I have news of great joy for most of you -- it's OK to plop the occasional preposition at the end of a sentence!  The Grammar Girl says so; the Phantom Linguist gives us the go-ahead; gives an authoritative "OK."

For the sake of argument and vigilance, some still promote keeping those pesky prepositions from the end of sentences because they are a wimpy way to conclude.  Mellanie Spiller seems to be a purist with whom you would need to argue this point.  The good folks at Garden of Phrases equivocate a bit.  And the Answer people at Yahoo even show you how to rewrite a sentence to make it stronger and more effective while keeping that preposition tucked somewhere in the middle.

In my class, I will allow the occasional preposition to appear at the end.  But be advised that I'm gritting my teeth as I deny the teachings of my elders.

Don't get me started on passive voice ......