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When is it appropriate to end a sentence in a preposition?

In this answer I wrote

[You can use it] to take pictures of a movie in a cinema, of which the cinema guys probably wouldn't approve.

but I am not sure if it should rather be

[You can use it] to take pictures of a movie in a cinema, which the cinema guys probably wouldn't approve of.

I found this page but I'm still unable to find out which example it relates to. (... to which example it relates?)

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marked as duplicate by Jon Purdy, FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt Feb 26 '12 at 19:07

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This is the old 'don't end a sentence with a preposition' debate. Both your sentences are grammatical standard English, the 'of which' one sounding a little more formal, but both are accepted in speech. In newspapers and technical writing I'm not sure. –  Mitch Feb 26 '12 at 18:31
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Furthermore, leaving off the of at the end is also grammatical, since by the time one gets to the end of the sentence, one has normally forgotten whether there should be something there, and leaving it off is shorter. After all, approve can take a direct object, as in Would you approve this, please, so I can move on? That means that ... which the cinema guys probably wouldn't approve is also OK. –  John Lawler Feb 26 '12 at 18:43
    
I don't want to get mired in the grammatical/ungrammatical controversy itself, but I personally feel OP's first version is at best "ungainly", because to approve of is a complete, self-contained phrasal verb. Moving "of" to the front, and tacking a subject noun phrase in before "approve" grates on my ear. –  FumbleFingers Feb 26 '12 at 18:55

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Both versions are technically correct, but the latter sounds more natural (especially because your sentence is informal in nature):

[You can use it] to take pictures of a movie in a cinema, which the cinema guys probably wouldn't approve of.

The idea that it is not desirable to end a sentence with a preposition has no real basis. As Winston Churchill put it:

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.

Of course, Churchill's phrase is extremely awkward; the more natural equivalent being:

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something I will not put up with.

Or, at least:

From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something with which I will not put up.

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That phrase is not Churchill's. That's a misattribution no longer to be put up with. –  RegDwigнt Aug 21 '12 at 13:51

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