Preposition at the end of sentence: What were ...cyclists passing silently by?

< Previous | Next >

space cowboy

Senior Member
Russian
I am lost here, should i always move that 'preposition' to the end of the sentence or is it possible to leave it there with a verb? Or both variants are possible?

Pedestrians and cyclists were passing by our home silently.

What were pedestrians and cyclists passing by silently?

What were pedestrians and cyclists passing silently by?
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Either is OK. If you consider "to pass by" to be a phrasal verb, then the first is OK. If you consider by to be a preposition, then "silently" (an adverb) should be as close as possible to the verb (passing) and thus the second is correct.

    (You can't lose!)
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    You can say it both ways, just as you can say the statement both ways:

    Pedestrians and cyclists were passing by our home silently.
    Pedestrians and cyclists were passing silently by our home.

    With both statements, you change 'our home' into the question word, move it to the front, and the preposition stays where it is.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top