A Sentence Not Ended with a Preposition
Here’s a tragic-yet-terrifying story for you: Once upon a time, a wicked old witch disguised as a benevolent seer told an aspiring wordsmith that it was wrong to end a sentence with a preposition. And this sentence was the result:
“That's not all for which kiwi is good.”
Full disclosure: I don’t know for sure it was a witch instead of, say, a warlock or a demon or William Safire. And we can’t know whether this sentence, which appeared on the SlashFood health and nutrition website, was the mangled offspring of the writer or an editor. All I know is that these are some ridiculous acrobatics to go through to avoid writing the simple: “That’s not all kiwi is good for.”
For decades, people have been taught that it’s wrong to end a sentence with a preposition like “for,” “at,” with,” or “from.” This mangled sentence demonstrates all too clearly how bad this advice is. But it illustrates another bad call as well: dogged allegiance to rules, real or fictional. Any writer or editor who valued clarity and readability would have ended the sentence with “for,” even if she thought it was against the rules.
There is no rule against ending a sentence with a preposition. Even if there were, violations wouldn’t carry a prison term. And sentences like the one above would offer quintessential examples of the old saying that some rules were meant to be broken.