Bill Bennett

Bill Bennett

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 communications for 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.

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

While the grammar police won’t agree, this is a rule you can ignore. It doesn’t apply to everyday writing, business writing, journalism and online communications.

There will be times it doesn’t make sense to twist sentences to avoid ending with a proposition. Your writing will be clearer and easier to understand.

Relax. 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.