Sentences ending with a preposition? - Page 2


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Thread: Sentences ending with a preposition?

  1. #11
    It seems pretty clear where most people are coming from.

    Now I'm stumped for a witty comment to end with.
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  2. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry D View Post
    The best example I ever read about (I've used this before, so, sorry if it's redundant to some of you): A writer was reminiscing in Writer's Digest magazine many years ago. He told the story of riding along with his father -- an under educated man, but a natural story-teller -- as his father drove a truck making deliveries around Cambridge, Massachusetts. One day he needed to make a delivery to a building on the campus of Harvard University. He'd been told the building was along the Charles River. Not being able to find his way to the river through the campus -- the older man was not familiar with the grounds of the school -- he stopped and asked a passing student, "Can you tell me where the Charles River is at?"

    To which the student replied, with disdain, "At Harvard we never end a sentence with a preposition."

    "Oh! I see. Beggin' your pardon. Can you tell me where the Charles River is at, asshole?"
    Oh, lol...

    Quote Originally Posted by InstituteMan View Post
    In my highly formal professional writing, I avoid ending sentences with prepositions. In my writing of a more casual and creative bent, I don't sweat it.
    Which highlights the issues with how: most style guide manuals, such as Stunk & White and CMoS (Chicago Manual of Style), are written for the academic register. In a school environment, you'll mind your can v may's, because you're in a place where recognition of the rules is applied. In fictional terms, the likes of can I have bisqwit (can v may), the woman that (that v who), and where's it at (ending with a preposition), are reflections of naturally occurring dialogue, where speaker will talk without ruling, depending on the context.

  3. #13
    I say stick with the rule in your fiction, as long as you want all your dialog to sound like it came from Yoda...

  4. #14
    Because this does sound like Yoda, right??

    This is the sort of English up with which I will not put!

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Aquilo View Post
    .... A suggestion could be: I let her chatter away whilst I tried to interpret her grip on my arm and her chosen level of closeness.
    I like your suggestion. However, having read all the comments I'll add a bit of context and explain why I said:-

    'Or capitulate, and settle for this? C) I let her chatter away whilst I tried to interpret her grip on my arm and the level of closeness she had chosen.'

    It's a matter of the emphasis I require the reader to receive.

    Consistent with her character the girl has employed a very precise decision process on how she will grip hold of him and the message that is sent and received.

    Ergo, decision was the word I wanted on the page it infers others levels of grip had been considered and discarded. It can be claimed chosen does the job just as well. IMO I don’t think ‘chosen’ has the weight (nor has ‘selected’).

    Bottom line: The word ‘decided’ dictated the sentence construction. I let her chatter away whilst I tried to interpret her grip on my arm and the level of closeness she had decided upon.

    Just saying...qwerty

  6. #16
    You've got all the input you need, I'm sure. Good sources have been cited, plus insightful comments from your colleagues. We can thank the Neo-Classical or Augustan Age for all this nonsense about never ending English sentences with prepositions. Dr. Johnson, Alexander Pope et al revered their Latin and Greek masters, and a rule in Latin should do well for English, no? But USAGE is King (or Queen) in our era, so--yes--if I'm writing a formal academic paper, I will eschew prepositions at the ends of sentences, not because it's any kind of "rule", but because it is expected. By the same measure, in my academic paper i will write "the data are ready. . .", just to show off that I know what's what, and "none of the 5000 attendants was ready for the seminar". Were I writing a notice for the lunchroom or talking to the guys after the game, I would go UNgrammatical, because that would be expected, which expands the comfort zone, which enables communication. Which is what we're trying to do.

  7. #17
    An episode of Everybody Loves Raymond springs to mind where Marie, Raymond's mother, shakes her head at Raymond after he said: "Where I'm at," and questioning his writing credentials for ending a sentence with a preposition.

    Saying: "Where I am," is correct and I prefer omitting the preposition here. On the other hand, you can't say: "Where I'm," without adding the preposition.

    Also: "Where is your home?" is, for me, much more preferable to: "Where is your home at?"

  8. #18
    Also: "Where is your home?" is, for me, much more preferable to: "Where is your home at?"
    Yes, but surely because it is tautological? And maybe 'preferable to' or 'more preferable than' ? Think "That's more better, much more better".
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  9. #19
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    To quote Colonel O'Neal from Stargate "You ended that sentence with a preposition, you rat bast..."

    - just adding some humor to the thread.
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  10. #20
    Depends on where and by what kind of character it's being used. My rule is that if it's narrative or spoken dialogue by a character that's supposed to be abnormally intelligent (i.e., Stephen Hawking or Sheldon Cooper), don't do it. If it's spoken by an average person, it's fine because average people talk like that. Same rule I apply to words like "ain't" and "irregardless", actually.

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