A preposition starting an object of another preposition

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Blacksheep846

Member
Lithuanian
Hello

I always though that a preposition cannot start an object of another preposition going before it until I came across these two sentences:

''It depends on what you are talking about.''

''It depends on what word the ending is in.''

What I'd like to ask you is whether I can move the preposition that is ending the sentence before what?
 
  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I always though that a preposition cannot start an object of another preposition going before it until I came across these two sentences:

    A. ''It depends on what you are talking about.''
    B. ''It depends on what word the ending is in.''

    What I'd like to ask you is whether I can move the preposition that is ending the sentence before what?
    1. What do you mean by "start"? I don't understand what "start an object" means.

    2. I don't understand sentence B. "The ending is in" means what? This sentence looks incorrect, at least in AE.

    3. You are asking about changing sentence A to be the following:

    A1. ''It depends on about what you are talking.''

    Sentence A is very normal. Sentence A1 is very awkward. People do not talk that way.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    If you are concerned about ending your sentence with a preposition, you would have to rephrase.

    It depends on what you are talking about.
    The answer depends on what category this question falls into.

    It depends on the subject on which you are talking.
    The answer depends on the category into which this question falls.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    They are perfectly normal. I don't recognize what you mean by 'start', however. 'Depend on' (and some other idioms containing a preposition) can take a whole wh-clause as its object. This might or might not contain a preposition:

    It depends on what you say.
    It depends on where you want to go.
    It depends on why you want to try doing that.

    As you see, these can be quite complex; there's no limit, and there's no reason why they shouldn't internally end in a preposition:

    It depends on what it's made of.
    It depends on where they come from.

    The two prepositions have no relation to other.
     

    Blacksheep846

    Member
    Lithuanian
    1. What do you mean by "start"? I don't understand what "start an object" means.

    2. I don't understand sentence B. "The ending is in" means what? This sentence looks incorrect, at least in AE.

    3. You are asking about changing sentence A to be the following:

    A1. ''It depends on about what you are talking.''

    Sentence A is very normal. Sentence A1 is very awkward. People do not talk that way.
    I apologize for the confusion. By ''start an object'' I mean begin an object, in the cases A. and B. wh-clauses begin the object of ''on.'' And ''the ending'' here means ''suffix.'' In other words, the suffix changes the meaning of a word, so the meaning depends on what word the suffix is in. Please note that this sentence doesn't have to make sense as I just wanted to express the grammatical construction that I had in my mind. Once again, sorry for the confusion.
     
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