"At one time, schoolchildren were taught that a sentence should never end with a preposition. However, this is a rule from Latin grammar that was applied to English. While many aspects of Latin have made their way into the English language, this particular grammar rule is not suited for modern English usage."
Yes, and no. It's not that hard and fast. Depends on the sentence.
Depends in part on whether its formal writing, or informal speech.
"For what do you need ninety pesos?" is what I responded and was told that is not correct. It wanted "Why do you need ninety pesos?" instead. But yes, in written English I'd probably write "For what..." whereas for spoken I'd expect to hear "What do you need ninety pesos for?"
What do you need ninety pesos for? For what reason( purpose) do you need ninety pesos? Why do you need ninety pesos? I 'am not sure if is this last answer correct.
Would" With what purpose" be accurate?
http://www.wordreference.com/es/en/translation.asp?spen=para%20que (...)¿Para qué? loc conj (con qué fin) why?, for what reason? for what purpose? adv (...)
http://dle.rae.es/?id=Rp1CuT2 (...)para que
- loc. conjunt. U. para indicar la finalidad o el propósito de algo. Te lo repito para que te enteres.(...)
(...) por qué
- loc. adv. Por cuál razón, causa o motivo. ¿Por qué te agrada la compañía de un hombre como ese? No acierto a explicarme por qué le tengo tanto cariño.(...)
English doesn't make a clear-cut difference between reason (por) and goal (para). Colloquially, both questions are formed with "why", but you can clarify later when the answer is not what you expected.
- "Why did you buy that goat?"
- "Oh, it was on sale."
- "No, I mean, what for? We dont need a goat."
- "It can keep our lawn tidy!"
You can say "for what purpose" if you want, but not "with".
I was about to make this same comment. I know that it is actually grammatically incorrect to end a sentence in a preposition. However, it always sounds too formal in my circles to write it in this grammatically correct way. Thus, I avoid the situation and ask "Why do you need ninety pesos?" I wish we had word bubbles here where we could create this sentence.
See my post below in response to Daniel. I was clearly wrong. I thought this was grammatically incorrect as I was scolded for doing it by a technical writer at work.
It would still be nice to have the option "Why do you need ninety pesos?" just to keep it from being a confusing question.
Bill, the English "why" covers both reasons ("Why are there mountains?") and purposes ("Why are you making a cake?"). There is also often an overlap, and the distinction between por and para can clear that up:
¿Por qué limpias la cocina? - Porque huele.
Why are you cleaning the kitchen? - Because it stinks.
¿Para qué limpias la cocina? - Para hacerla oler menos.
Why are you cleaning the kitchen? - To make it stink less.
Translation is challenging. The better English translation whether you use Para or Por qué is Why? Also the real mistake is not ending a sentence with a preposition, but placing the object "what" of the preposition at the front of the sentence and not after its preposition. Yes its acceptable in short verbal speech (so would "I need ninety pesos" "What!?") However, it is quite inappropriate in your business report or school essay. In complex writing or speaking you would be creating misunderstanding and ambiguity. I very early concluded that Spanish is more elegant and precise then English even in the soldier Latin from which Spanish is derived.
There is no reason that one shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition in English. That is not a rule. Stylistically, one avoids it to sound more formal, but that doesn't make what do you need it for? wrong.
Ending English questions with prepositions is (and has been) part of the language.
Ending a sentence with a preposition? Really? Does anybody at Duolingo know English?
@daniel I also originally started on this post because I felt forced into giving an answer which ended a preposition. I actually thought it was wrong. I worked with a boss approximately 20 years ago where we were creating technical training materials for a corporation. She absolutely hated ending sentences with a preposition. From that time on, I thought it was grammatically incorrect (at least technically; but we would still use it in natural conversation).
But, after seeing your post, I went to look it up. Sure enough, it's not incorrect like I thought:
Okay, I'm convinced. DuoLingo is helping me learn English (I'm a native speaker) as well as other languages :)
No, it's not. Native speakers don't say what for do you need it?. It breaks a grammar rule and sounds unnatural.
For is a preposition. It needs to go before it's object, or in the case of a question, can be moved to the end of the sentence.
What do you need it for?
For what do you need it?
The second is very formal.
Ran across this article the other day and thought of the discussions on DL! https://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2019/02/01/three-writing-rules-to-disregard/ Unfortunately, it limits itself too much, doesn't address the Oxford comma! :)
Quit quibbling. The correct use of English precludes prepositions at the end of sentences. If we need to learn correct Spanish, why not use correct English as well. Given the constant errors and your indifference to them, I would not want to learn English from this programme.
That's not a rule in English and never really was. There are a few instances where it should be avoid, but this is not one of them.
Oxford is trustworthy to me.