Many English expressions are constituted of a verb with a preposition (from, to, etc.). Let's take to benefit from as an example:

The customer benefits from a service.

Say I now want to refer to the service itself. I have often seen the following sentence structure:

[It is] the service that the customer benefits from.

However, I believe I have once learned that — despite being commonly used — it is not proper English to put the preposition (here “from”) at the end of the sentence. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

So I would like to know what would be the proper way to refer to “service” in this case? Is the following proposal correct (it sound quite “bulky” to me):

[It is] the service from which the customer benefits.

If not, what would be the correct way to write the sentence in a formal context?

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  • Just say It's a service which benefits the customer., then you don't need a preposition. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 1 at 11:43
  • @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica I agree that rewording the sentence can be the best solution to avoid convoluted sentence structures. Yet I believe that there are cases where it is difficult not to use (or, let's phrase it that way, where I would very much like to keep) a structure similar to those above; e.g. “I want your report to highlight the main advantages of the service that customers benefit from”. (There might be more eloquent examples, though.) In other words, I would prefer to know what to do in such case, rather than how to do differently — even if it's a valuable workaround. – ebosi Apr 1 at 12:10
  • Don't try to cram too many ideas into one sentence. In your comment, it's unclear whether "benefit" refers to the service in general, or its main advantages. We know what "service" means: something that benefits customers, so there is not need to explain that. Perhaps simplify to "I want your report to highlight the main advantages of the service." What service? The service you are both talking about. – Weather Vane Apr 1 at 12:14
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    Don't make too much of the half-baked idea that you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition... – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 1 at 12:46
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    ...but it's true that we usually put the preposition before the "relativizer" (that, which, who,...), as you can see if you compare [principles] which we live by / by which we live. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Apr 1 at 12:47

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