November 24, 2010

Grammar Bit #9.


* They introduce prepositional phrases and show relationships between nouns and pronouns.
** Here is a list of prepositions.

It is, at times, okay to end a sentence with a preposition.
EX. What did she sit on?

It is okay to end the sentence with the preposition "on" because without it the sentence does not make sense. You could not say What did she sit?

If the sentence does not change when the preposition is removed, it is better to remove it.
EX. That's where she's at.

If you pull apart the contraction "she's" you get "she is," which can sufficiently end the sentence. "At" is unnecessary.
EX (without preposition). That's where she is.

Prepositions can also be unnecessary within a sentence.
EX. He was pushed off of the edge.

The preposition "of" in the above example is unnecessary.  When it is removed, the sentence still makes sense.
EX (without preposition). He was pushed off the edge.


  1. The first example could also read "On what did she sit?" It's a bit more formal, but it still works.

  2. Yep, it does! But because it's so formal and most people wouldn't phrase the sentence that way, I decided to show the more informal example.

  3. I agree with La Coccinelle -- we use prep at the end because it sounds "stilted" to say "on what did she sit?" But it is correct. I would suggest trying to re-word if you don't want that tone.
    When I was in fourth grade we had to memorize a list of prepositions for a quiz. I memorized them, but I froze, and forgot them -- failed the quiz. But to this day (many, many years later) I can STILL recite that list!!!

  4. "This is the sort of English up with which I will not put." My dad used to quote this Churchill line to me nonstop growing up! You wouldn't believe how many times a week I have to make a note to someone I'm editing about which words are prepositions. Love the post.


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