1

"That bullet point is simply in place to ensure that projects are followed through with."

I got blasted for ending the above sentence with with, and I feel it's a phrasal verb so is okay. Am I correct? The disclaimer here is that I'm terrible with the English language (probably seen in my question itself).

Thanks ahead of time for the assistance

  • 2
    You're right, and nothing you (or we) can say will persuade your blaster otherwise. That's theology, not grammar. – StoneyB on hiatus Oct 17 '13 at 16:52
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    The reasoning "it's a phrasal verb so is okay" is complete nonsense, though. The sentence is fine as stated no matter whether you label with a part of a phrasal verb (which it clearly isn't) or a preposition (which it clearly is). You can label it Susan if it makes you happy, and you can still end the sentence exactly as stated. – RegDwigнt Oct 17 '13 at 17:05
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    You can just say "projects are followed through"; there's no need for the "with". – Peter Shor Oct 17 '13 at 17:11
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    Right. Follow through is a phrasal verb, but it's normally intransitive, and the with is a transitivizing preposition. Since that makes projects the affectd direct object (even though it's the object of a preposition), Passive can apply to it, producing the sentence in question, which has the same structure as This bed was slept in by George Washington, or This sentence has been done things to. – John Lawler Oct 17 '13 at 17:12
  • @John: Isn't follow through normally used transitively? From ODO follow something through: continue an action or task to its conclusion. – Peter Shor Oct 17 '13 at 17:17
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The verb is follow through. It doesn't need with.

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    Why is he wrong? Follow through with is perfect conversational English. – John Lawler Oct 17 '13 at 17:22
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    @JohnLawler Follow through with [something] is conventional, but the [something] is necessary. In the OP quote, it's not supplied so with is not needed. I have a feeling this may be an AmE/BrE difference, though. – Andrew Leach Oct 17 '13 at 17:28
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    I agree the something has to be in the sentence, but it is; it's the subject of the passive clause. It's been moved, that's all. Like the To in To which do you refer? (though by Passive, not by Pied-Piping). – John Lawler Oct 17 '13 at 17:32
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    @JohnLawler, the asker is right too believe that the sentence is perfectly fine, but wrong in his reason to do so. More specifically, he is wrong that ‘with’ is part of the phrasal verb. – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 17 '13 at 17:34
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    I'd say ‘follow through’ is certainly a phrasal verb, and ‘with’ initiates a prepositional phrase tacked on to it (just like in ‘keep it up’ vs. ‘keep up with it’)—the thing the asker did wrong was to assume that if this is the case, then the sentence shouldn't be able to end with ‘with’, which is the same old north-Italian City we've all seen and heard so many times before all over again. :-) – Janus Bahs Jacquet Oct 17 '13 at 17:46
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The sentence is correct without the "with" at the end. The complaint was probably about ending with a preposition. But here, it's unnecessary.

  • 1
    It's unnecessary if your personal lexicon contains transitive follow through. If it contains only intransitive follow through then _with is required. – Colin Fine Oct 17 '13 at 22:49

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