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Does a contraction allow for the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence?

Take the following sentence, for example:

Where is it at (not correct grammar)
and
Where's it at? (unknown)

You wouldn't say, for instance, Where is it at, but would the contraction Where's in the phrase Where's it at allow for a preposition at the end of a sentence?

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    The contraction takes place at the beginning of the sentence and has nothing to do with whether the speaker adds a final preposition or not. They're both fine in American English. – John Lawler Nov 8 '15 at 3:37
  • I was under the assumption that ending a sentence with a preposition was bad grammar but I am now aware that this is not true, at least per noted by E.L.U. (See here). Thanks! If you post this comment as an answer (with the link I gave), I would be happy to mark yours as the answer. – Scott Nov 8 '15 at 3:51
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Other answers have shown (or correctly claimed, at least) that the example questions are both wrong. They, however, do not answer the question, which is about whether a contraction allows a sentence to end in a proposition.

A contraction is irrelevant to the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence. In English stranded propositions are actually allowed. The common belief that they are not allowed is the product of an attempt to make English more like Latin, in which they are not allowed. (See here for the story and for the defense of propositions at the end of sentences.)

The problem, then, with "Where is it at?" is not that it ends in a proposition. The problem is that where does not require at. We could test this by rearranging the question to avoid the alleged error of ending in a preposition: "At where is it?" We do not say this.

  • "At where is it" is still proper grammar, but it is over-formal, of course. Nevertheless, it was just the type of answer I was looking for! – Scott Nov 8 '15 at 4:20
  • Interesting @Scott. My first reaction was, no, it is not proper grammar, of course. I then thought of structures with other verbs, like "look/point at where". Those seem to work, whereas "sit at where" does not. Perhaps "at" is used when the subject is not actually at the location of "where", or perhaps "at where" is always wrong, but seemingly better in some instances. Very curious. – Unrelated Nov 8 '15 at 4:36
  • Very interesting it is - The structure of "at where is it" dates back to the days of Old English. 'At where is' is a preposition+verb bundle ('at' being the preposition, of course). In Old English (and I mean in medieval-times), stranding a preposition was found irregular, so instead the preposition was added before the verb (and it's adjectives). Old English is still spoken, but it will (and continue to) slowly drift from each generation. – Scott Nov 8 '15 at 6:34
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All the examples presented are urban colloquial usage, not "good" grammar.

Since I'm being downvoted by the OP, let me clarify: The usage of the word "at" at the end of the sentence is wrong, always. Or in the very least it's in the same category as "hating on" commenters you don't like.

  • The best grammar possible per the usage - also take into account the context. By the way, this isn't an answer - I'd prefer that you comment next time. – Scott Nov 8 '15 at 3:16
  • This input might belong in a comment. It doesn't really suffice for an answer. – Unrelated Nov 8 '15 at 4:09
  • the simple answer is "no" that's not correct. – dwoz Nov 8 '15 at 23:27

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