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

If I can't end a sentence with the preposition "with", does this mean that the following sentences are grammatically wrong? If so, why?

At least we have some information to work with.

She is finding the job very hard to cope with.

Blasphemy is one thing I will not put up with.

Does anyone else have any examples of sentences ending with with?

  • If you can't end a sentence with with, then those sentences are wrong. They aren't wrong, so you can end a sentence with with. Simply asking for a list of as many valid sentences as people can think of is not constructive, though. – Andrew Leach Jan 25 '13 at 15:03
  • Churchill is rumoured to have written "This is the sort of sentence up with which I will not put," which ably demonstrates the necessity of ending some sentences with with. – Andrew Leach Jan 25 '13 at 15:04
  • Your sentences seem all fine. What makes you think they may be wrong? – Mohit Jan 25 '13 at 15:07
  • 2
    Duplicate of question #16 — just 16, mark you, 16: english.stackexchange.com/q/16 – tchrist Jan 25 '13 at 15:08
  • Darn it. Why must questions close when I choose to write a longish answer! Ah well, I can post it to the duplicate. – Jon Hanna Jan 25 '13 at 16:20

If you're a stickler for such rules, you could rewrite:

At least we have some information to work with.


At least we have some information with which to work.

It's also correct, but will sound a little formal or archaic in spoken language.

Frankly, though, it's a rule that is up with which one should not put.

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It's fine to end sentences with prepositions. The "rule" of not doing so is an import from Latin grammar, and never fits with English grammar rules. If you have to convolute your sentence to avoid the preposition, leave it as is.

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  • It's not a "hold over", because English doesn't derive from Latin. It's an "import from", because it was the best Dryden could think of to prove he was a better writer than Shakespeare and Johnson. – Jon Hanna Jan 25 '13 at 15:50
  • @JonHanna Could we lay this canard to rest? Dryden was not arguing that he was better than Jonson, just that Jonson was subject to the same criticism. In fact, what he objected to was “The Preposition in the end of the sentence; a common fault with him, and which I have but lately observ’d in my own writings.” [my emphasis]. And he's writing as a poet, with a poet's ear: the two citations he gives are in fact faulty, because the prepositions, which would be unstressed in speech, fall in the final stressed position of their lines. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 25 '13 at 17:17
  • @StoneyB You're arguing that "a common fault with him" is to mean it is commonly found by others in him rather than a genuine fault he often commits? I have taken Dryden's statement about his own writings to state that it is indeed a fault, but he admits to find it. I find over-use of parentheses, excessive elision and even completely wrong words written in haste to be frequent in my own writing - especially first drafts or cases like comments and posts here were re-drafting isn't appropriate, but that doesn't mean I think they're good English. – Jon Hanna Jan 25 '13 at 17:40
  • "...admits to find it" above should be "...admits to finding it", and example of what I mean; just because I find that I had written that doesn't mean I consider it correct. – Jon Hanna Jan 25 '13 at 17:41
  • @JonHanna Dryden regards it as an occasional fault in both Jonson's poetry and his own; I quoted that to dispute your contention that Dryden was trying to "prove he was a better writer". He does argue that the drama of his own age is superior to that of Jonson's in some respects, because modern taste has evolved—"Wit’s now ariv’d to a more high degree; / Our native Language more refin’d and free"—and is, as in his own case, still evolving. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 25 '13 at 18:14

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