Ending a clause with a preposition, rule of thumb or hard rule?

Possible Duplicate: When is it okay to end a sentence in a preposition? So we've all heard the admonishments from our teachers not to end a clause with a preposition A plumber visits a wealthy estate to fix a clogged toilet. As the butler opens the door, the plumber barks out,"I'm here to fix the toilet. Where's your bathroom at?" "Please try to speak with more discretion. We do not want to disturb our neighbors with the details of our plumbing issues. And we most certainly do not end our sentences with prepositions, sir. So the plumbe...Read more

Why do so many people use a preposition with which to end a sentence?

Possible Duplicate: When is it okay to end a sentence in a preposition? I see it a lot, even though my elementary teacher told me it is wrong. This is probably a new development, a sign that our language is in decay. Soon none of us will be able to understand each other. But this sloppiness is a disaster, up with which I will not put.What are your own experiences with this terrible phenomenon? How may we roll it back? Should moderators strike out at such language abuse? What do you do to correct your friends, family, and colleagues? Do you le...Read more

prepositions - Meaning and usage of "be of"

I see such sentences all the time and I'd like to learn more about their grammatical structure (e.g. how they are described in grammatical terms), their meaning and how to use them in different contexts. Please let me know whether I can be of help.The part that I am interested in learning about is be of. There is a similar question here but the questioner was asking only whether it was correct or not, but I would like to learn the meaning more broadly as I described in my opening sentence....Read more

prepositions - "[a/the] equivalent of" vs. "[a/the] equivalent for" vs. "[a/the] equivalent to"

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent of the French phrase "broyer du noir"?If all three are acceptable options, how do these differ from each other?Ngram AmEngNgram BrEngNgram "an equivalent"...Read more

prepositions - Where do people say "on Christmas"?

Normally, English native speakers use on and at with the festive holiday in the following mannerWe open our gifts on Christmas morning.We're going away at ChristmasThe preposition on is used for dates, days of the week, and names of public holidays e.g., Many florists make a profit on Valentine's day But if a holiday covers a period of two or more days then the preposition at is usedChildren often hope for snow at ChristmasWe always stuff ourselves with chocolate at EasterRecently, I discovered that in some parts of the US this is not alway...Read more

prepositions - CMS: The Curious Case of "Because of"

The phrase "because of" is commonly thought of as a preposition; by itself, "because" is also considered by some to be a subordinating conjunction. The Chicago Manual of Style doesn't capitalize any prepositions, excepting at the start of sentences. Additionally, conjunctions are not capitalized mid-line.How would you capitalize a heading that includes "because" or "because of" according to the Chicago Manual of Style?For example:Eat because You Love FoodRun because of Your Future...Read more

prepositions - "I'm all about that bass"

My question is all about the perceived formality of using about in the sentences like I'm all about that bass.How (in)formal is using about like this?OED has this definition for this usage: to be (all) about: (a) to have as subject matter, to be concerned with; (b) to consist of essentially, to have as point or purpose; that is what it is all about: that is the reality of a particular situation or of life in general; (c) to be principally concerned with; to be in favour of or fond of.In OED, the first usage is from a1400 and there is an exa...Read more

prepositions - Syntactical ambiguity in introductory phrase reference: reference to main verb vs. object

Motivated by A, we outline our proposal for B. Does "Motivated" refer to outline or proposal? It seems to me that a reader could infer one of two statements: A motivated us to create this outline, or A motivated us to create this proposal As the author of this sentence, I am struggling a bit in how to fix the ambiguity, especially if (for other reasons) I would like to keep A in an introductory phrase. From common sense, I suspect most readers would infer meaning #2 -- the intended one by the author. But, from a grammar point of view, I am not...Read more

prepositions - "in front of" or "opposite"

Imagine my house is on the left side of the road, and if there is a bus halt on the left side of the road and a vegetable stall on the right side of the road, when I talk about the bus halt, should I use "in front of" or "opposite?"What I feel is that I should use in front of since opposite can be definitely used for the vegetable stall since the vegetable stall is facing my house....Read more