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This is a phrase I hear extremely often, with some modifications to the subject. But it seems to be improper, because the sentence is ended with a preposition. What is the "correct" way to say this phrase?

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closed as not a real question by RegDwigнt Nov 30 '11 at 13:40

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

“He cannot be reasoned with” is perfectly fine in both formal and informal speech. There is a style directive which prohibits this, and its introduction was artificial, but the rule is often enforced and so people tend to think of it as a real grammatical rule (the point is that it is just a style rule). To avoid ending in a preposition, move the pronoun to the preposition, "with him" and restructure the rest 'No one can/You can't reason with him'. – Mitch Nov 30 '11 at 13:56
up vote 9 down vote accepted

First of all, the "rule" that a sentence should not ever end with a preposition is wrong, wrong, wrong. (See Grammar Girl's article on the matter.)

Second, if you still want to avoid it, you have to recast the sentence slightly: "You cannot reason with him", or perhaps "No one can reason with him."

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Interesting; would "to reason with" be considered one of these 'phrasal verbs' mentioned in the article you provided? – iamataptool Nov 29 '11 at 23:33
@Rickay: No, it is just a regular preposition. A phrasal verb is of the kind where the preposition can come at the end even in a simple sentence: she put the suitcase down. But you cannot say, she reasoned him with, not if this is the entire sentence. – Cerberus Nov 29 '11 at 23:46
Then would it not be possible to use the passive voice with this phrase while retaining grammatical correctness? – iamataptool Nov 29 '11 at 23:58

Not everyone agrees that it is incorrect to end a sentence with a preposition. If you'd absolutely want to avoid it here though, then I would say "You cannot reason with him".

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