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Dangling Prepositions Options
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
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Dangling Prepositions

Despite what you may have been taught, it’s a myth that ending a sentence or clause with a preposition is an error. Where did this myth originate? More...
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2017 7:33:35 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 2/4/2014
Posts: 5,720
Neurons: 3,717,542
Location: Bogotá, Bogota D.C., Colombia
The no-final-prepositions rule: Not even half right.

Let’s review the basic history of the idea that you shouldn’t end clauses (especially complete sentences) with prepositions. The entire idea that there is something wrong with sentence-final prepositions was popularized by John Dryden back in the 17th century. Looking over a play by Ben Jonson from 1611 (around 60 years before Dryden was writing), Dryden remarked on Jonson’s line “The bodies that those souls were frighted from“, noting

“The Preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him, and which I have but lately observed in my own writings.”

Dryden never saw fit to explain why this sentence-final preposition was a fault.* Before, during, and after the 17th century, sentence-final prepositions have been commonplace in speech and writing. No one’s ever really had a good explanation for why they’re opposed to them. The only reason you’d want to avoid clause-final prepositions is that they aren’t common in formal writing, and that’s the case largely because of the misguided prohibition against them.

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