Prepositions Need Objects

     
    Hear the story about the guy delivering groceries? 
    He knocked on a woman's door and asked, "Where would you like me to put the groceries at?" 

    She replied, "Don't you know you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition?"

    "Alright then," he responded,  "where do you want me to put the groceries at, scumbag?"

    You've likely heard that you shouldn't end a 'sentence' with a preposition. More accurately though, you shouldn't end a clause with a preposition. If you really boil the beans down, you should always use a noun or pronoun object after a preposition. A preposition begins a prepositional phrase, a phrase beginning with a preposition and ending with an object of that preposition. Learn to recognize prepositions, and you can avoid ending a clause with one, unless it begins a prepositional phrase.

    Some examples of prepositions (preposition in italics, object in bold print) :

     
    in the wind up the tall ladder
    out the door through the steel door
    under the red floor mat beyond his wildest dreams
    near the dove's bird nest behind the shiny glass
    Careful with what are called phrasal verbs, which consist of two words - the verb and a particle, which looks like a preposition:
     
    set up  (prepare) take out  (carry) put down  (set)
    pick up  (collect) take on  (assume) call on  (ask)
    drop out ( withdraw) pick out  (select) put out  (extinguish)
    turn up (appear) turn up (raise) look up (find)
    Formal writing flows much more smoothly without the use of such particles. In the examples above, note the one-word alternatives. Verb phrasals do not always exactly lend themselves to conciseness.

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