Trying not to sound too ignorant while instructing a piece of software in order to allow people to make request of services/items and while trying to say "For how many people would you like to make this request" or "How many of this do you want?", the sound of the sentence in the title appeared kind enough to me.

I followed the empiric principle of postponing the 'for' at the end of the sentence while coping the affermative version of it

I'd like to request it for 3 people -> How many would you like to request it for?

Does that look correct?

  • 1
    the simple solution is to use the appropriate verb implied by "make the request". e.g. "How many seats do you want to request. You are not requesting people. As such it's understandable that you want to remove for further from people.
    – vectory
    Dec 1, 2019 at 0:06

1 Answer 1


There is a rule of thumb to never end a sentence with a preposition. This "rule" is often broken; there are many clear and grammatical constructions that end a sentence in a preposition. Both of the following are grammatical and natural sounding (at least to my ears).

How many people would you like to request it for?

For how many people would you like to request it?

However, do note that I added the word people to both sentences. Although many can be used as a noun, the phrase how many always acts an adjective. In some cases, especially in dialogue, the noun can be implied by context:

I want some fish.

How many [fish]?

This pattern can also extends to prepositional phrases:

I would like to request it for some people.

For how many [people]?

But outside of this context, you should include the noun in the question.

  • Sure thing: in my context is wildly (really, not widely) implied, no mistakes. Regarding the "thumb rule" you mentioned, however, what about sentences like 'What are you looking at?' or 'What are you waiting for?' 'Where is it leading to?' and so forth? ... I mean they look like the only acceptable ways to me and there is a plethora of them breaking the "rule" as you said.
    – Shockwaver
    Mar 6, 2019 at 12:07
  • I disagree. I've opined elsewhere that I understand German wie viele "how many" as a single combined pronoun, so I'm a bit biased. In that sense, you do not need a noun any more "you" needs "you @Benjamin". I would definitely prefer for how many ... equivalent to e.g. for her, him and then some (that's for two and a half spelled out per item, if you will). Consequently I also reject whom for. Just noting that's a dialect thing, maintaining my L2 English were represantive of the dialects I learned from. err, from which I learned.
    – vectory
    Nov 30, 2019 at 23:59

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