Problems with Prepositions

I hate, hate, HATE it when someone says “Where do you work at?” or “We’ll meet you where you are at!” Ending a sentence with a preposition, I have always thought, is a big no-no. However, it sounds rather strange when I ask my dog, “At what are you barking?”

I have been getting Jane Straus’s (I’m not completely sure about the apostrophe placement, here) e-newsletter about grammar and punctuation for quite some time, but today’s tip is truly a nugget of wisdom:

Prepositions are words that often show direction: below, above, over, under, around, through, in, out, between, among, to, toward(s). Other common prepositions include of, for (also sometimes a conjunction), from, with, like (also sometimes a verb).

Rule: You shouldn’t use or end a sentence with an unnecessary preposition, i.e., when the meaning is clear without it. Sentences may end with necessary prepositions.

Correct: That is something I cannot agree with.
With is a necessary preposition.

Correct: How many of you can I count on?
On is necessary.

Incorrect: Where did he go to?

Correct: Where did he go?
To is unnecessary because the meaning is clear without it.

Rule: Don’t follow like with a subject and verb because prepositions are followed only by nouns that act as the object of the preposition. Use as or as if or as though instead of like when a subject and verb follow.

Correct: I wish I could be more like her.

Incorrect: It doesn’t look like she will show up for dinner.

Correct: It doesn’t look as if (or as though) she will show up for dinner.

So, please, don’t end your sentences or questions with a preposition — but if you do, make sure it is NECESSARY.

How ’bout it?

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3 Comments on “Problems with Prepositions”

  1. Mari Adkins Says:

    :standing ovation:

  2. Robert Black Says:

    What were you wanting from me by taking a look at your website?

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