Go ahead, end a sentence with a preposition

Your school may have taught you not to end a sentence with a preposition. This is a hangover from Latin and Greek – sentences in those languages never ended with prepositions.

Years ago I worked in the public relations department of Britain’s Science and Engineering Research Council. My boss took me to task for ending a sentence with a preposition.

He told me it was; “Something, up with which, I will not put” – a quote from Winston Churchill.

The grammar police won’t agree, but this is a rule you can ignore for everyday writing, business writing, journalism and online communications.

In everyday writing there will be many cases when it doesn’t make sense to contort your sentences to avoid ending with a proposition. Your writing will be clearer and easier to understand.

And you’ll be in great company. Most newspaper style guides allow it, most popular authors and the overwhelming majority of modern literary authors sidestep the rule.

*Churchill was on my side in this. I suspect my boss didn’t realise the quote was a joke.

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