Ending sentences with prepositions

Were you taught that a preposition should never be placed at the end of a sentence? There are times when it would be rather awkward to organize a sentence in a way that would avoid doing this, for example: 

 
The dress had not even been paid for.
X Paid for the dress had not even been.
 
We were well looked after.
X Well looked after we were.
 
  • in relative clauses and questions that include verbs with linked adverbs or prepositions:
 
What did you put that there for?
X For what [reason] did you put that there?
 
They must be convinced of the commitment they are taking on.
X Of the commitment they are taking on they must be convinced.
 
There’s no necessity to ban prepositions from the end of sentences. Ending a sentence with a preposition is a perfectly natural part of the structure of English.

 

Back to Grammar tips


Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Grammar and usage