The ‘rule’ of the terminal preposition is a debatable one. Should it… could it be used?

First of all, what is the ‘terminal preposition’? It is simply the use of a preposition at the end of a sentence?


  • Is this the car you drove in?
  • There was nothing I could think of.
  • Where are you from?

According to those who believe a preposition should not be placed at the end of a sentence, the above sentences will then read:

  • Is this the car in which you drove?
  • There was nothing of which I could think.
  • From where are you?

Where did this ‘rule’ about placing or rather not placing a preposition at the end of a sentence originate?

It stemmed from applying Latin Grammar to Modern English. And whilst it is true that the English Language has borrowed grammar from other languages and many aspects of Latin can be found in English, this particular ‘rule’ however, does not suit our Modern English.

Is it grammatically incorrect to use the terminal preposition? Is it wrong not to use it? The answer to both questions is, no. Either way, it is a matter of choice, opinion or style. As long as your sentences clearly communicate your thoughts and ideas to the reader, you are free to decide whether to place a preposition at the end of a sentence or not.