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I'm not a native speaker, and can't understand why is 'to' needed at the end of this sentence:

To keep safe the one they had all sworn their undying loyalty to.

Can't we just say:

To keep safe the one they had all sworn their undying loyalty.

Thank you in advance.

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  • 1
    @HotLicks But I keep forgetting to.
    – Kris
    Jun 5, 2018 at 7:09
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    Welcome to ELU. This or a similar question has already been dealt with before. Also, it's better to ask this on English Language Learners which is particularly useful to non-native speakers of English and for elementary questions. Good Luck.
    – Kris
    Jun 5, 2018 at 7:11

2 Answers 2

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To is needed, either at the end of the sentence or in "To keep safe the one to which they had all sworn their undying loyalty."

You don't "swear loyalty Fred." You "swear loyalty to Fred."

The "swear loyalty Fred" is a pattern like give X Y - but swear doesn't work like give, which is an example of a verb that takes 2 objects.

I swear loyalty to Fred.

I gave Fred loyalty.

So that's why it would work with, e.g. give but not swear.

To keep safe the one they had all given their undying loyalty.

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  • While we can't say for sure without more context, I would expect "to whom" rather than "to which" in a sentence like this, because I would expect "the one" to be a person.
    – herisson
    Jun 5, 2018 at 5:59
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You should never put 'to' at the end of a sentence. It is a preposition and should not go last.

The correct use would be:

"To keep safe the one **to whom** they had all sworn their undying loyalty."

'To whom' might not be fashionable, but is the correct use instead of finishing the sentence with 'to'.

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