22 May 2013

Those pesky prepositions

Having, just a few minutes ago, seen this sentence on one forum:

Never end a sentence with the word "is".

I find that I need to correct those who err in this ‘rule’… Let us follow what Oxford Online Dictionary has to say:

Were you taught that a preposition should never be placed at the end of a sentence? There are times when it would be pretty much impossible to organize a sentence in a way that would avoid doing this, for example:

in some passive expressions:

√ The dress had not even been paid for.

X Paid for the dress had not even been.

√ The match was rained off.

X Rained off was the match.

in relative clauses and questions that include verbs with linked adverbs or prepositions:

√ What did you put that there for?

X For what [reason] did you put that there?

√ They must be convinced of the commitment they are taking on.

X Of the commitment they are taking on they must be convinced.

There’s no necessity to ban prepositions from the end of sentences. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a perfectly natural part of the structure of modern English.

Similarly, the Merriam-Webster online dictionary says:


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But even after sending these links to the transgressor, lo and behold, I was battered with:

In speaking it’s allowed but not in proper writing.

My response:

Good lord! I just pointed you to one of the world's most accepted dictionary that says it is.  Did you see my last sentence? It's also 'proper'… and it ended with is… again!!

As did your original:

Never end a sentence with the word "is".

It ended with is, even if you put it in quotes. (^_^)

At this point, I give up. I eh able.