Which one is grammatically correct or better to use?

About before pronoun:

I haven’t listened to the album about which you were talking.

About after verb:

I haven’t listened to the album which you were talking about.


They're both technically correct. I would personally prefer the second one, though, as it sounds more natural.

Students of English used to be taught that it was bad grammar to end a sentence with a preposition (like "about"). Following this rule produces sentences like your first example ("about which you were talking").

However, this "rule" is derived from Latin grammar, and English isn't Latin. This "rule" has been falling out of favor since the beginning of the 20th century, because it can produce sentences that don't sound natural. You can end a sentence with a preposition, but you don't have to.

There are many, many articles about this; here's one from Mirriam-Webster.

  • Didn't you prefer the first one if it was a formal written text? – a.toraby Oct 31 '18 at 16:49
  • 1
    @a.toraby -- no, not necessarily. The first one isn't more formal, it's just more awkward. Awkward != formal. – Matt Cline Nov 1 '18 at 17:18

Ah, well, this gets into the "ending a sentence with a preposition" debate. Some people think it's fine, others don't like it.

Personally, I'm in the middle and avoid doing it if possible -- unless the alternative is even more awkward. So, in this case I would say it's fine to have "about" at the end:

I haven't listened to that album you told me about.

Or use a different verb:

I haven't listened to that album you mentioned.

  • Is it the same for other prepositions like to? For example is it better to say We haven't talked about the album which we listened to last night or We haven't talked about the album to which we listened last night? – a.toraby Oct 31 '18 at 16:56
  • 1
    @a.toraby - Definitely "...listened to last night." Also, realize that not all of these words are prepositions per se; sometimes they are part of phrasal verbs. For example: They walked so fast, I had trouble keeping up. There is no reason to move that "up" to another place in the sentence. – J.R. Oct 31 '18 at 17:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.