I'm a little bit confused whether the following sentence is correct or not.

It is a subject about which I could talk for hours.

As far as I'm concerned with English grammar it should be correct but the part about which just doesn't sound good to me.

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    Of course it doesn’t sound good. Anybody in their right mind say “It’s a subject I could talk about for hours.” – tchrist Jan 8 '13 at 22:57
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    Welcome to ELU. What you have here is a "participle (phrasal) verb" in which the obligatory "pied piping" with a relative WH- may override the normal form "which I could talk about for hours". Actual usage in speech (as opposed to prescription, from either side) is divided about equally between the two. – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 8 '13 at 22:59
  • It doesn't sound good to you because it is a bit old-fashioned sounding. Regular speakers of English would just go ahead and put the preposition at the end. – Mitch Jan 9 '13 at 3:07
  • Don't worry, the grammar is fine. – GEdgar Jan 9 '13 at 14:58

It is correct, although this phrasing has a rather formal and old-fashioned sound. If you are looking for something that sounds more like casual spoken English, you might say:

It is a subject I could talk about for hours.


The precise placement of about (like just, only, etc.) is often variable, particularly in casual speech. It could appear after talk, or after hours, in OP's example - either of which would sound more "natural" to most people than the actual example.

We're always being told that "Don't end a sentence with a preposition" is a discredited maxim, but the fact of the matter is people do think that more often than they should - so perhaps that's what prompted OP to go for the least pleasing placement of the preposition.

In practice, the main thing is not to let the preposition get too far away from the specific word it's associated with - in this case, "talk about". You wouldn't, for example, want to say...

?It is a subject which I could talk to the chairmain and the board of directors for hours about.

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    Not sure what you find questionable about your last sentence there. It sounds just peachy to me. Well, except I wonder who and what these Directors of Matters Horological are. – tchrist Jan 9 '13 at 3:19
  • @tchrist: They're the guys who handle productions (and merchandising spin-offs) for The Dance of the Hours. Either that, or they manage the supply of 72 houris each for successful Islamic fundamentalist suicide bombers. – FumbleFingers Jan 9 '13 at 3:31

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