It is perfectly correct to end sentences with “for” in informal writing. However, “for” is too informal for formal writing. You can use it to express who something is “for” or why somebody did something. E.g., “What does she do that for?” or” Who is that present for?”
The word “for” can appear in questions or statements concerning “who” something is intended for.
- Who are those flowers for?
- You know exactly who they are for.
As well as describing which person something is “for,” you can also use “for” at the end of a sentence to specify “why” something happened.
- What did you say that for?
- I don’t know what she did that for. She doesn’t even like him.
Furthermore, you can use “for” to indicate “where” or in what direction someone is going.
- The beach is where they are heading for. However, I don’t know if they will make it.
Additionally, some believe it is incorrect to finish sentences with prepositions, such as “for.” However, this idea does not hold as much influence as it once did, and in modern English, people commonly end sentences with prepositions.
You now understand the basics of using “for” at the end of a sentence. However, you should read the rest of the article to learn how to use “for” in formal writing and informal writing.
We’ll also show you some alternative phrasings to use in a formal context.
Can You End a Sentence With “For” in Formal Writing?
Firstly, it is not appropriate to end sentences with “for” in formal writing because it is somewhat informal.
Furthermore, the meaning of “for” at the end of a sentence is not that relevant to most types of formal writing.
At the end of a sentence, the word “for” essentially has three meanings:
- Which person something is “for.”
- What reason something is “for.”
- Which place someone is bound “for.”
With these three meanings in mind, here are some appropriate synonyms for the word “for” at the end of a sentence:
- Who should I address the package for?
- To whom should I address the package?
- Who will be the recipient of the package?
- What was the meeting for?
- What was the reason for the meeting?
- They said that the park was where they were heading for.
- They said that the park was where they were bound.
Can You End a Sentence With “For” in Informal Writing?
It is acceptable to end sentences with “for” in informal writing.
For example, you commonly see “for” at the end of a sentence in casual work correspondence and conversational messaging between friends and family.
Furthermore, the word “for” has three meanings at the end of a sentence, which are “where,” “who,” and “why.”
Here are some examples of how the three meanings of “for” could be used in an informal context:
- Where: I think they have gone to Paris. They said that is what they were bound for.
- Who: I don’t know who the flowers he was carrying were for.
- Why: I can’t work out what he continues learning German for. He is never going to Germany!