Prepositions ending sentences

Subject: Prepositions ending sentences
From: "Barbara J. Philbrick" <burkbrick -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 1994 10:54:50 EDT

I've got one of those niggling questions - how do other people feel about
ending sentences with prepositions?

The _Handbook_of_Technical_Writing_ says to leave them if they fall naturally
(but check the wording of the sentence to make sure it isn't an awkward
construction), but I've worked with two writers recently who changed
sentences as follows to avoid ending the sentence with a preposition:

Original: The number the system begins numbering orders at.
Change: The number at which the system begins numbering orders.

My basic philosophy is to write so that users aren't distracted by unnatural
structures, which I think the "at which" and other clauses to move the
preposition tend to cause. However, this is my opinion, and I'd like to know
how others feel about this.

(BTW - I know this is a lousy example - I've already reworded it to "The
system begins numbering orders at this number," but you get the drift of my

Barb Philbrick

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