English Grammar

What is the difference between To and For/comparison table

In today’s English lesson, we’ll discuss the difference between the English prepositions to and for. These are two of the most common prepositions, so if you’re trying to learn English as a second language (ESL) or master English grammar you’ll need to know how to use them. What is the difference between To and For?

Comparison table What is the difference between To and For?

To
For
Most common use It is common to find the composition to + infinitive : to go (to go), to do (to do), to sleep (to sleep). In this case the word to is not a preposition, but a part of the infinitive conjugation and is not translated. What is the difference between To and For? For is used to talk about the purpose or use of something, that is, to express the usefulness of a thing. The subject of the sentence in this case is the object itself, not a person.

It is worth mentioning that in this case for will be followed by a verb ending in –ing.

·         Oh! This thing is made for cutting through metal, be careful. (This thing is made for cutting metal, be careful.)

Purpose or purpose? If you want to express a purpose of an object and the subject of the sentence is a person, you use to .

·         Monica uses this knife to cut meat exclusively. (Monica uses this knife only to cut meat)

It is used when you want to express a purpose or end desired by someone (not something).

·         I have made huge sacrifices for my career. (I’ve made huge sacrifices for my career)

Other uses In the same way, it is used to explain the reason behind a decision.

·         I took this class to improve my English level. (I took this class to improve my level of English)

·         I’m studying this hard to become a famous doctor. (I study so much to become a famous doctor)

Also, this preposition is used to speak of a recipient.

·         This cake is for Isabel. (This cake is for Isabel)

For must always be followed by a noun, never by a verb.

·         We only did it for fun.  (We did it just for fun)

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