Is it more grammatically correct to move the preposition without to the end of its clause, or use without whom? Does the "in no particular order" change matters?

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to people without whom it would not be possible to complete the work, in no particular order.


I wish to express my sincere gratitude to people whom it would not be possible to complete the work without, in no particular order.

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  • I think either is grammatical (except to those who argue against ending a phrase with a preposition), but the first is the usual way to say it. – Barmar Apr 27 '15 at 20:42
  • It's more grammatically correct to avoid using whom. Especially if you have any question at all about any case where it is used. It's always possible to avoid it, and if you do use it, half the people who hear it will assume you're incorrect, even if you use it correctly. That's because most people have questions. So it should be avoided and allowed to die a decent death, like ye. – John Lawler Apr 28 '15 at 0:33
  • @JohnLawler Whilst I usually have the utmost respect for your grasp of English grammar, I cannot agree with you here. You will see my answer below. Are you seriously saying I should say ...without who it would not have been possible? In the company I keep whom is in everyday use. (I don't think ye was ever a word was it? Wasn't it simply that y was an earlier way of writing th? But it was never pronounced as we would pronounce a y, is my understanding.) – WS2 Apr 28 '15 at 5:29
  • @WS2: No, I said to avoid it. That includes avoiding pied-piping prepositions when using who as a relative pronoun (i.e, you could say that it wouldn't've been possible without, using that and leaving a stranded preposition). Pied-piping is the only construction where whom is required in English. It's optional everywhere else. So, if you avoid the stuffy construction, you avoid the stuffy pronoun too, and Bob's your uncle. – John Lawler Apr 28 '15 at 15:00
  • @JohnLawler But isn't stuffiness in the eye of the beholder? – WS2 Apr 28 '15 at 17:50

The first is far preferable to the second, in my view.

However I would still make some minor amendments to that in the interests of concision and clarity. This would be my suggested wording:

I wish to express my sincere gratitude to those people without whom it would not be possible to complete the work. In no particular order they are:...

Finally, I am slightly surprised that you are using the present conditional tense. Usually these sorts of things are said after the event. Hence I am wondering if would not be possible should read would not have been possible.

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