You are the guy who we are trying to learn from.

is the ordinary sentence structure I make when I talk. But I know that the standard English is

You are the guy from whom we are trying to learn.

To be honest, the second one is a bit hard for me. I want to know, is the first acceptable, and could you give me some methods about how to make the standard attributive clause in which a verb-preposition combination exist?

  • 2
    The former is called a preposition stranding, it's perfectly fine, but some purists might dispute you for ending a sentence with a preposition. The latter is called pied-piping, usually preferable in academic writing. Apr 25, 2017 at 12:26
  • 3
    Preposition fronting (or pied-piping) is generally found in formal English. 'guy' is usually used in informal English. Maybe a more formal word or phrase instead of 'guy' would make your second sentence more likely: 'You are the world-renowned expert from whom we are trying to learn'.
    – Sydney
    Apr 25, 2017 at 13:56

1 Answer 1


Is the first sentence acceptable in English?

Yes. But...

Unless you're trying to be overly formal or respectful, a more common way to express that would be something like:

You're the guy we're trying to learn from.

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