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“Never end a sentence with a preposition!” We have almost all heard that rule, but it is not as carved in stone as it sounds.
Sometimes a preposition at the end of the sentence is really a problem. Sometimes it is not. If it is, there are several ways to fix it.
- It is fine – just leave it (unless your English teacher has a big problem with prepositions at end of sentences, in which case try completely rearranging the sentence).
What are you looking at? – That really is okay.
At what are you looking? – Sounds awkward. No one speaks like that, not even English teachers.
What are these cookies made of? – Okay. You could leave it like this.
What are the ingredients in these cookies? – Better
A teacher is a person most children look up to. – Okay. You could leave it like this.
A teacher is a person to whom most children look up. – A bit awkward. This might impress your teacher, but people do not talk like this.
Most children look up to a teacher. – Completely rewritten.
- It really is not a problem because it is an idiomatic (two-word) verb.
What time should I pick you up? – Okay because pick up is an idiomatic/two-word verb.
- Move the phrase.
What time should we wake up at? – Nope
At what time should we wake up? – Much better
- Rearrange the prepositional phrase.
Colored pencils are my favorite tools to draw with. – Not terrible
Colored pencils are my favorite tools with which to draw. – Preferable
- Just leave it off. Sometimes people add unnecessary prepositions to the end of a sentence.
Where is your hometown at? – You don’t need at.
Where is your hometown? – Much better.