1 2 3 4
I was corrected for the following: "Where is it at?" I understand that you should not use a preposition at the end of a sentence, but believed it was acceptable with a question. Could someone please clarify this rule for me?

Thank you.
New Member01
You can use a preposition with some verbs at the end of the sentence.

-Who is he going out with?
- I don't know who he is going out with.

I suppose that these verbs have the preposition included in their meaning "to go out with"

Following this, I would say the example you have used does not have the preposition included in its meaning.
Senior Member4,756
technically, the sentence should be phrased "with whom is he going out?", but you may die of old age before you hear someone actually say this. nevertheless, "whom" being an object pronoun, should not be effected by moving the preposition to the end: "whom is she going out with?". again, as mentioned in other threads, the use of "whom" is in decline.

as for the example "where is he at?", the final word is compltely superfluous and serves no purpose whatsoever. do people say this... yes. but some also simply say "where is he?" which is shorter anyway! maybe a linguistics expert could explain this phenomenon better...
Full Member116
I agree with moijeleuis. The preposition "at" sounds completely useless to me as well. But, is this utterance possible? in an emphatic context for instance?

The issue about prepositions at the end of a sentence seems to be still in debate. It is said that in formal speech and writing one has to avoid this practice. So remember: "to end a sentence with a preposition is something you have to learn how to do away with." Emotion: smile

In formal English, careful writers always use "whom" when the objective form of who is required. In informal contexts, however, many consider "whom" to be unnatural or old-fashioned, especially at the beginning of a sentence: "who were you looking for?" Careful, formal speakers usually prefer "whom" where it closely follows a preposition: "to whom did you give it?" as contrasted with "who did you give it to?".

Spanish speakers only have one word for "who" and "whom": "quien". So you say "quien fue al cine?" (who went to the movies?) and "con quien fuiste al cine?" (who did you go to the movies with? or with whom did you go to the movies?). It is very comfortable for us to use only "who" in all the cases (but one has to learn when to place the preposition at the end). Most of the students get confused with the who/whom issue. By the way, "quien fuiste al cine con?" is not possible in Spanish.
Full Member221
good clarification raul! on further reflection, i think that sentences such as "where is he at?" come from a general tendancy to make contractions - and would always be pronounced "where's he at?" (never as four distinct words, the "is" being melded with "where"). as a two-syllable expression, "where's he?" (minus the "at")... it just does not work, since the stressed part of the sentence is the verb. how on earth the "at" came in to play, when "where IS he" is a perfectly valid stressed sentence, who knows. i have no idea where that comes from... i mean, i have no idea from where that comes... after all, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which i shall not put. (here we have an extremely bizarre hypercorrection of a common expression rendered nearly incomprehensibe by grammar "rules")

last word: if better vocabulary were used rather than resorting to monosyllabic verbs bolstered by prepositions, much of this debate would be moot! (ex. "tolerate" rather than "put up with") i love the variety of english, but the "old rules" do not always comform to new usages.
Guest:
It would simply sound more appropriate to say : Where is it? "at" is unnecessary in this sentence.

or

Instead of: Who is she going out with, you might say, " With whom is she going out?"
(although, that's still a preposition, isn't it?- Ha!)
Anonymous:
Please take a look at the following page: www.trinicenter.com/winford/2005/0905.htm
Anonymous:
I believe that "out" in this sentence is not a preposition but an adverb! Emotion: wink
So do I, Anon.

MrP
Veteran Member12,806
Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.Retired Moderator: A moderator who has retired.
Show more
Live chat
Registered users can join here