Are you frazzled because you’ve heard that you must never end a sentence with a preposition? Wrong! You may end a sentence any way you choose to. I chose to write the previous sentence so it ended in a preposition. It’s called a terminal preposition.
There are lots of rules out there that were never really, truly, rules. They were often the personal preferences of people who liked to speak out on the subject.
These are often the same people who say we can never begin a sentence with and, but, or, also, or however. They get very upset when their rules are broken, suggesting the writer has committed a crime against humanity…
First, let’s define a preposition. It’s a connective word that shows the relationship between a noun (or pronoun) and some other word in the sentence. Examples: at, by, for, from, in, of, on, to, and with.
If clear communication is your goal, then make sure that the sentence sounds good. Effective. Sometimes using a preposition at the end is awkward, but sometimes it’s better to use a preposition 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.
Ending sentences with prepositions was something I looked into. In depth. There’s nothing to worry about. Now get up off the floor, stretch yourself out, dance a little jig, and cheerfully continue with your life!
From Jennifer Stewart, Write 101
Language is littered with “rules” – many of which seem to have been dreamed up by crazy people (let me pause for a moment to remind you of the “-ough” words).
So there are plenty of times when it’s quite acceptable to break these “rules” – it sounds just plain silly to write something like, “For whom is that pizza?” We know what you mean when you say, “Who’s that pizza for?” and we’ll think no less of you for saying it, despite the preposition on the end.
Winston Churchill’s rejoinder when told that you shouldn’t end a sentence with a preposition was: “That is nonsense up with which I shall not put.”
Then there’s the child’s complaint: “What did you bring that book that I don’t like to be read to out of up for?”
Remember that language is your tool, not your master.