For As A Preposition

The preposition for has many meanings including the following:

For: intended to belong to

  • This letter is for you.
  • Reserve a seat for me.

For: in place of

  • I offer you new lamps for old.

For: in defence of; in favour of

  • He fought for his country.
  • Are you for or against the proposal?

For: as far as, as long as

  • We walked for five kilometres.
  • They waited for two hours.

For: towards; indicating destination

  • They sailed for the pacific.
  • A train for London

For: because of

  • They could not see for smoke.

For: at a cost of

  • You can buy this for $1.

For: indicating purpose

  • Let us go for a walk.
  • What is this tool for?
  • They chose him for their leader.

For: indicating liking, suitability, skill etc.

  • She has a good year for music.
  • Junk food is bad for health.

For structures after adjectives

The structure for + object + infinitive is common after certain adjectives which express wishes and other personal feelings.

Examples are: anxious, eager, delighted, willing, reluctant, vital, necessary, important, common, normal, pointless, unusual, rare, right, wrong etc.

  • I am anxious for him to get a good job.
  • We are delighted for them to come and stay.
  • She is eager for us to see her work.

With preparatory it

For-structures with preparatory it are common with many adjectives expressing possibility, necessity, importance, urgency, frequency and value judgments.

  • It is important for the party to be a success.
  • It is not necessary for you to wait any longer.
  • It is essential for them to earn while they learn.
  • I thought it strange for her to be out so late.
  • It isn’t easy for me to let him go.
  • It would be risky for you to attempt it.
  • It would be dangerous for them to indulge in such activities.

For structures after verbs

Certain verbs are normally followed by for. Examples are: ask, hope, wait, look, pay, arrange etc. We can use infinitives after them.

  • I can’t wait for them to finish talking. (NOT I can’t wait them to finish talking.)
  • Can you arrange for the goods to be delivered soon? (NOT Can you arrange the goods to be delivered soon.)
  • I arranged for her to have violin lessons. (NOT I arranged her to have violin lessons.)

Certain verbs like suit, take etc., can also be followed by a for-structure.

  • It only takes ten minutes for me to walk to the office.
  • Will it suit you for us to call on Sunday?

Note that a for-structure cannot be used in object position after verbs.

  • I requested her to help me. (NOT I requested for her to help me.)
  • She wanted me to clear her doubts. (NOT She wanted for me to clear her doubts.)

Other uses of for structures

For-structures can be used after nouns which express wishes and other personal feelings. Examples are: time, a good/bad idea, plan, aim, need, request, mistake, shame etc.

  • It is time for everybody to go to bed.
  • It was a shame for them to lose the match.
  • There is a plan for Alice to spend a year in China.

After something, anything, nothing etc.

Something, anything, nothing, and similar words are often followed by for + object + infinitive.

  • Have you brought something for me to eat?
  • Is there anything for me to do?
  • Is there anybody for Alice to play with?

After too and enough

A for-structure is often used after too and enough.

  • The tea was too hot for me to drink.
  • The bag was too heavy for me to lift.
  • It is now too late for us to begin the new lesson.
  • I explained enough for her to understand what was happening.

For-structure as subject or object

The for-structure can be the subject of a clause.

  • For us to fail now would be a disaster.

However, it is more common for a structure with preparatory it to be used.

  • It would be a disaster for us to fail now.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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