Eating Alone In Half The Time

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English As It’s Actually Spoken

July 12th, 2012 · No Comments

Since I’m eating to get over my diabetes, it’s getting sort of boring, so here is something different which I worked up for my English students.

Yes, Use Prepositions at the End of Sentences

Many spoken (and written) English sentences end with a preposition, which is not a common practice in other languages:

The prepositions which are used in the following examples:
  to, with, for, against, at, of, from, about, by

And here is a list of the seventy more common prepositions.
http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/prepositions-list.htm

And of course there are the rules.
A number of quasi rules:
1. Use a preposition when the sentence would cause confusion
    or misunderstanding without it.
    Ex: This is the recipe she is going…  (the word ‘by’ is needed)
    Ex: Which plate did you eat… off… of?
          Which plate did you eat… from?
2. And the opposite: do not use a preposition at the end when
    the sentence is understandable and complete without it.
    Ex: This is the road he traveled on. (the ‘on’ is not necessary)
            There is a place I want to go to. (the ‘to’ is not necessary)
3. There are a number of phrases or words which use
    a preposition as part of the phrase or word. These are
    not examples of using prepositions at the end of the
    sentence although it appears that way.
    Examples: fed up, bring down, put off
    He didn’t understand that I was totally fed up.

O.K., some examples:

  informal: This is someone I’m willing to go with.
  formal: This is someone with whom I’m willing to go.

  informal: They are people he will do anything for.
  formal: They are people for whom he will do anything.

  informal: He is someone I always voted against.
  formal: He is someone against whom I always voted.

  informal: This is someone I never want to get involved with.
  formal: This is someone with whom I never want to get
  involved.
  
  informal: That’s the house he was looking at.
  formal: That’s the house at which he was looking.

  informal: That’s the hotel I stayed at.
  formal: That’s the hotel at which I stayed.
  or reworded: That’s the hotel where I stayed.

  informal: This is the system he was speaking of.
  formal: This is the system of which he was speaking.

  informal: This is a photo of the school he graduated from.
  formal: This is a photo of the school from which he graduated.

  informal: This is what I wanted to speak to you about.
  formal: This is about what I wanted to speak to you.

  informal: This is the recipe she is going by.
  formal: This is the recipe by which she is going.
  or reworded: This is the recipe she is using.
_____________________

References
– Seventy of the most common prepositions.
http://www.englishclub.com/grammar/prepositions-list.htm
– Ending a Sentence With a Preposition http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/ending-prepositions.aspx
And if you really want some back up on this:
– Never End a Sentence With a Preposition! Oh, Really?
http://www.columbiaseminary.org/coffeetalk/050.html

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