There is no well to take the water from.
There is no well from which to take the water.

There's no person to form the team with.
There's no person with whom to form the team.

Is there any usage or meaning difference between the sentences?


The bold versions avoid dangling prepositions.

Preposition stranding, sometimes called P-stranding, is the syntactic construction in which a preposition with an object occurs somewhere other than immediately adjacent to its object; for example, at the end of a sentence. The preposition is then described as stranded, hanging, or dangling. - wikipedia

The wikipedia article goes on to cite a famous counter-example attributed to Winston Churchill, where avoiding dangling prepositions leads to an awkward construction:

  • This is the sort of tedious nonsense up with which I will not put.

(The idiomatic form would be "... nonsense which I will not put up with".)

Note that dangling prepositions aren't always the preferred form, particularly when they start piling up. For example, I find the second of the following pair much easier to understand:

  • (*) There's no person to form a team to find the well to draw the water from with.
  • There's no person with whom to form a team to find the well from which to draw the water.

In your examples, the forms that avoid dangling prepositions (the second of each pair) sound more formal, but both are equally valid and equally idiomatic. Which you pick might depend on whom you're speaking with (or, phrased differently - the person with whom you are speaking).


The bold versions come from attempts to apply rules from Latin grammar to English in the 1800s. They are old-fashioned and associated with people who studied in paid schools or are trying to appear superior.

There is no difference in meaning of the sentences themselves.

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