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.