The rules of grammar are a lot to keep track of, especially when you hear that prepositions are something you’re never supposed to end a sentence with. The cold, hard truth is that we do end sentences with prepositions in casual speech, in most written material, and in our minds.
- I need to hang my coat up; which closet can I put it in?
- She sure has a lot to be grateful for.
- Who was he talking to?
Language evolves and speech affects the way people write, so some rules fade. If you are writing for a straight-edge grammarian, tuck those prepositions inside a sentence, as in “I need to hang up my coat,” “She has much for which to be grateful,” and “We wondered to whom you were talking.” Otherwise, let those prepositions fly.
Winston Churchill was famously alleged to have joked, “Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.” It has appeared in many variants, and is attributed to dozens of people (and character types), but it’s a joke about a pedantic rule that has little bearing on real life. You may let it go, dear reader, and be in good company.