EDIT ME — Ending Sentences in Prepositions

Look what I have to put up with.

Which department is he in?

What do you have to go to Walmart for?

Adrienne was shaken up.

In our language there are many phrases that have certain meanings of their own. Revisit the sentences above and see if you can pick them out.

Put up with

Shaken up

In the old days where grunge was king, or before that when we danced like Cyndi Lauper (and long before), we were taught never to end a sentence with a preposition. What is a preposition? Hint: It’s not that spam email asking you for naked photos.

Here’s a great list of prepositions.

Let’s take another look at those sentences above. Can we rewrite them so they don’t end on a preposition?

Look what I have to put up with.

= I have to put up with him.

Which department is he in?

= In which department is he?

What do you have to go to Walmart for?

=What do you need at Walmart? (never anything worth the torture of long lines and this person)


Adrienne was shaken up.

=Adrienne was… (what word fits here as well as shaken up?) RATTLED.

As you can see from reworking these sentences, sometimes it’s okay and GOOD to end a sentence on a preposition. In which department is he sounds old-fashioned and probably doesn’t fit your modern character’s language. And Adrienne was indeed shaken up, but rattled works just as well.

Moral of the story: Read it aloud. If it sounds okay and fits your character, you probably don’t need to edit it. 🙂

Thanks for reading,


2 comments on “EDIT ME — Ending Sentences in Prepositions

  1. I am so thankful i never saw that while i was working at wal-mart!!! crazy! thanks for the “edit me” post. i still think you need to do a book based off this blog and all the edit me posts.

  2. My high school English teacher, who was a Brit, used to say the following about this rule. “That is nonsense up with which I will not put.” He attributed the sentence to Winston Churchill, but I’m not sure if that’s true or not. Anyway he thought it was a silly rule and I’ve always agreed.

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