Ending a Sentence With a Preposition

Is it ever OK to end a sentence with a preposition?

Mignon Fogarty
4-minute read
Episode #269

Cover Letter Grammar

I said you don’t need to rewrite those sentences, but because of the prevalent myth that it’s wrong to end sentences with prepositions, there are times when you should avoid doing it even though it isn’t wrong. For example, when you’re writing a cover letter to a potential employer, don’t end a sentence with a preposition. The person reading the letter could see it as an error. I always recommend following the most conservative grammar rules in job applications. I’d rather be hired than lose out on an opportunity because my grammar was correct--but perceived as wrong.

But once you're hired and you’re in a position to have a discussion about grammar, don’t be afraid to end sentences with prepositions as long as the preposition isn’t unnecessary. Just be ready to show your boss a good style guide or this Web page and do your part to dispel one of the top ten grammar myths.  


  1. Huddleston, R. and Pullman, G.K. A Student's Introduction to English Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006, p. 20, 137-8.
  2. Strumpf, M. and Douglas, A. The Grammar Bible. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2004,  p. 231, 217.
  3. Thurman, S. The Only Grammar Book You'll Ever Need. Avon: Adams Media, 2003, p.32.
  4. Stilman, A. Grammatically Correct. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2004, p.264.
  5. O’Connor, P. “The Living Dead: Let Bygone Rules Be Gone” Grammarphobia.com, http://www.grammarphobia.com/grammar.html (accessed March 29, 2011).
  6. Lutz, G. and Stevenson, D. Grammar Desk Reference. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 2005, p. 41.
  7. Garner, B. Garner’s Modern American Usage. Oxford University Press, 2009, p. 654.
  8. Wilson, K. G. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. New York: Columbia University Press, 1993, p. 341.



About the Author

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty is the founder of Quick and Dirty Tips and the author of seven books on language, including the New York Times bestseller "Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing." She is an inductee in the Podcasting Hall of Fame, and the show is a five-time winner of Best Education Podcast in the Podcast Awards. She has appeared as a guest expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and the Today Show.