We made it! Episode 18 of the Vocabbett podcast contains the final installment of our “5 Ways to Instantly Sound Smarter” mini-series. Seeing as it’s the last episode, I thought it might be time to change things up a bit. Rather than covering a grammar rule you should probably follow, this episode covers a “rule” you might want to break!
One of the often-repeated grammatical rules in English is:
“Never end a sentence with a preposition.”
NEVER, they say. The grammarians who spout such lines are dogmatic. “Never end a sentence with a preposition,” and that is that!
But here’s the problem: sometimes it makes more sense to end a sentence with a preposition.
Don’t take it from me. Take it from Winston Churchill.
Well, maybe you can take it from Winston Churchill. The story is rather apocryphal, meaning it may or may not be true, but according to the story, Churchill got so fed-up with an editor who re-wrote one of his sentences to avoid ending it with a preposition, Churchill wrote this in response:
“This is the sort of bloody English up with which I will not put!”
The joke being, of course, that if he’d written, “This is the sort of bloody English I won’t put up with,” he’d have (gasp!) ended a sentence with a preposition!
Sometimes, it just makes more sense to end the sentence with a preposition, and Churchill gives us a prime example of this.
Nevertheless, there is a preposition people often add to the end of sentences I recommend removing: at.
“That’s where I’m at,” they say. Or, “This is where we’re at.”
Instead, try, “This is where I am,” or “This is where we are” to instantly sound smarter!
Don’t forget that most people learn more effectively when incorporating multiple senses, so it’s a good idea to listen to the podcast, too! : )
You can search “Vocabbett” in your favorite podcast player, or simply hit play below!