Grammar Myth #1

You can’t end a sentence with a preposition.

Grammar mythsThere are grammar myths floating around that have been perpetuated by well-meaning people who are, unfortunately, a little behind the times. But don’t blame them (or yourself, if you’re one of them); the English language is a work in progress. Even rules that were taught in school years ago have been debunked, and others have taken their place. One rule that has no basis in fact but that has been widely taught anyway is the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition.

In case you aren’t familiar with the term, a preposition is a word that expresses a relationship to the word(s) it precedes. Some examples are in, on, from, by, to, for and with. An example of a sentence that ends with a preposition would be:

“There are some things I will not put up with.”

To understand why the rule prohibiting this structure is inappropriate, consider how silly the sentence becomes when rewritten to move the preposition from the end:

“There are some things up with which I will not put.”

According to The Chicago Manual of Style, the rule about ending a sentence with a preposition comes from an ill-founded superstition that probably started with people who studied Latin, which has a grammatical structure that doesn’t allow for sentences ending in prepositions.

Also, see grammar myth #2: You can’t begin a sentence with and or but.

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