Exploring Writing Myths – Session 3

Myth 3: You must not end a sentence with a preposition


A few fossils believe that a sentence is bad if it ends in a preposition. According to them, these are ungrammatical:

There are certain values we must all be prepared to stand up for.

…the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to. (Shakespeare)

The council decided this was the right system to invest in.

You do not have to complete this section if you prefer not to.

What are you talking about?

It’s true that the first could be recast as:

There are certain values for which we must all be prepared to stand up.

But this would still annoy anyone who thinks ‘up’ is a preposition here (actually it’s a particle attached to the verb). There is no point changing a sentence that reads well, sounds right and says what the writer wants to say, just because it contravenes the myth. Sometimes sentences ending in prepositions do need to be recast, but this is because they read awkwardly, not because they break a rule. These sentences, for example, come to a feeble end:

Get clean photocopies of the forms you want to make changes to. Make sure there is enough white space to mark your alterations on.

Better to write:

Get clean photocopies of the forms you want to change. Make sure there is enough white space for marking your alterations.

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About Dr. Ashok Bhairi 63 Articles
Dr. Ashok S. Bhairi is a Bio-Socio-Cultural Anthropologist & Life Management Research Scientist by profession; He is a Founder Chairman of Yashaswiniam Research Wing of Life Management. His research mission is to encourage and facilitate the cross-cultural study of human culture, society and behaviour in the fields of Anthropological Science, Sports, Spirituality, & Social Issues. He was felicitated with “Young Scientist Doctorate Award” by Yale University, United States of America for the combination of seven different researches as a passionate student of science under the title ‘Yashaswiniam’ which heralds of : The Endocrine Study of Cricket & Football Players (Endocrinology); The Birds of East (Ornithology); Attraction, Love & Sexual Relationships of Human (Sexology); What is Beauty? A Psychological Analysis (Psychology); Economic Organization of Pawra Tribe in Rajbardi Village (Anthropology); Tribal Situations in Maharashtra, India (Anthropology); Migration& Adaptation: A Study of Padmashalis in Bhiwandi, Thane (Anthropology). Migration & Adaptation: A Study of Padmashalis in Bhiwandi, Thane’, has been further selected by ‘Cambridge Scholars Publishing, United Kingdom’ for its publication in World Anthropological Research Journal. Dr. Ashok S. Bhairi is a disciple of the reputed international corporate guru and spiritual master from India – Swami Sukhabodhananda, under whose guidance he is working upon the research project “Ontology of Spirituality for Life Management using Anthropological Approach”. Dr. Ashok S. Bhairi orators spiritual discourses on Personal Excellence through Bhagavad Gita, Navarathri Upasana, Shiva Sutras, Venkateshwara Upasana, Importance of Hindu Rituals, etc. through the wisdom of Swami Sukhabodhananda. He also teaches high school & junior college students in ‘Positive Thinking Program’ & ‘Ashberry’s EYE (Enrich Your English) Program’, Ashberry’s LIFE (Lovely India Flames Excellence) Program. He has been giving sports commentaries at the state level in Maharashtra & in other states of the country, where he counsels and has activities together with players who suffer from schizophrenia, depression, stress, phobia before and during their scheduled matches.

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