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To vs. For: What’s the Distinction? Be taught Find out how to Use “To” and “For” in English Sentences

to vs for

Have a look at these two sentences:

Are you able to carry some flowers for Mary?

Are you able to carry some flowers to Mary?

These sentences have completely different meanings. However perhaps you’ll be able to’t see why.

Some pairs of comparable English phrases like “to” and “for” may be troublesome for English learners.

On this submit, I’ll clarify the principle variations between “to” and “for.”

Prepared for it? Let’s go!


Find out how to Use “To” and “For” in English Sentences

“To” and “for” are generally used as prepositions. Altering a preposition, comparable to utilizing “to” within the place of “for,” can utterly alter the which means of a sentence.

Generally, if you happen to use the flawed phrase, you’ll get a sentence that isn’t grammatically right.

So, let’s start by speaking about one of the crucial widespread (and most complicated) makes use of of “to” and “for”:

Utilizing “To” vs. “For” to Speak About Causes and Functions

We steadily use the prepositions “to” and “for” to speak about why anyone did one thing. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples.

Why did you journey to London?
I traveled to London to enhance my English.

Why did she purchase a cake?
She purchased a cake for her brother’s birthday.

Why are you going dwelling?
I’m going dwelling to feed my cats.

Why did you go to the museum yesterday?
I went to the museum for a lecture on trendy artwork.

In sentences like these, “to” and “for” imply the identical factor, however they aren’t utilized in the identical approach.

For instance, if you happen to mentioned, “I’m going dwelling for feed my cats,” that will be incorrect. It’s essential use “to.”

So, how have you learnt when to make use of “to” and when to make use of “for”?

It may appear sophisticated, however the reply is definitely quite simple. Use “to” when the explanation or goal is a verb. Use “for” when the explanation or goal is a noun.

That’s all!

Let’s take a look at some extra examples of “to” and “for” used side-by-side:

I purchased a gift to offer to Sarah on her birthday. (verb)
I purchased a gift for Sarah’s birthday. (noun)

I drink espresso to really feel extra awake. (verb)
I drink espresso for its fantastic style.

I’m exercising to remain wholesome. (verb)
I’m exercising for my well being. (noun)

When you’ve discovered that rule, utilizing “to” and “for” turns into a lot simpler. Now that you just’ve mastered the toughest half, let’s take a look at another makes use of of “to” and “for.”

Different Makes use of of the Phrase “To”

Listed below are among the conditions the place we generally use “to.”

Use “to” when speaking about motion or a change in route

“To” is used as a preposition if there’s motion, a switch or a change in route from one level to a different.

For instance,

I would like you to take these books to Mary.

We’re going to Paris subsequent Tuesday.

Within the first instance, “to” is used to recommend a switch of the books from “you” to “Mary.” Within the subsequent instance, “to” signifies (exhibits) a change of place from the speaker’s location to Paris.

Use “to” with English infinitive verbs

Any English verb within the infinitive kind will embody the phrase “to.” You’ll steadily see this development in English sentences.

For instance,

Nina loves to speak on the cellphone.

When would you like to eat dinner?

We’re going to satisfy the Queen tomorrow!

Use “to” when evaluating two issues

“To” is usually utilized in evaluating two issues and expressing one’s preferences (likes).

For instance,

I want espresso to tea.

She prefers studying books to watching films.

Different Makes use of of the Phrase “For”

Now it’s time to study in regards to the phrase “for.” “For” is used as each a preposition and conjunction, but it surely’s far more widespread as a preposition.

Let’s study when to make use of it!

Use “for” when expressing thanks or gratitude

If you wish to thank somebody, you’ll often use the phrase “for” to elucidate why you’re thanking them.

The phrase “for” can be adopted by a noun or gerund (a verb that ends with “-ing”).

For instance,

Thanks for instructing me to play the guitar.

Thanks a lot for the brand new footwear!

Matthew thanked Brian for coming to his birthday celebration.

Use “for” when speaking a few period of time

“For” can also be used to speak a few size of time throughout which one thing occurred.

For instance,

I waited on the station for two hours.

They’ve lived in Ohio for eight years.

We’ve identified one another for a very long time.

Use “for” when expressing help and settlement

“For” is used to point settlement with or help of a trigger.

For instance,

Are you for or towards the ladies’s motion?

I’m all for growing taxes.

To vs. For: Check Your Understanding with a Easy Quiz

Now it’s time for a brief quiz to check your understanding of when to make use of “for” and “to.” Fill within the blanks with the best phrase and examine with the solutions which can be given on the finish of it.

  1. Jeet went ____ New York ____ see his favourite rock band carry out stay.
  2. I would like to offer my essay ____ the professor earlier than 5:00.
  3. He lived in Paris ____ three years.
  4. I’m wanting ____  a brand new job.
  5. Are you ____ or towards the environmentalist motion?
  6. Thanks a lot ____ your type letter.
  7. I want Rohan ____ Ben.
  8. I would like ____ eat pizza for dinner.
  9. His mother and father sacrificed a lot ____ him.
  10. Will you please take these books ____ the library ____ me?

(Solutions: 1. to/to, 2. to, 3. for 4. for, 5. for, 6. for, 7. to, 8. to, 9. for, 10. to/for)

Extra Assets for Practising Utilizing “To” and “For”

Studying grammar guidelines isn’t sufficient. To correctly study the variations between “to” and “for,” you might want to apply. Under are among the greatest assets.

On-line quizzes and workout routines are a fast and environment friendly technique to study English phrases. They assist you examine your English studying progress.

UsingEnglish has a brief quiz of 10 questions for newcomers, which additionally comes with a printable worksheet.

Autoenglish.org presents a barely harder train. When you do properly in it, you’ll by no means be confused between “to” and “for.”

Lastly, each English Tremendous Website and To Be taught English have 15-question quizzes that cowl quite a lot of conditions the place “for” and “to” are generally used.

One other vital technique to get to know “to” and “for” is to listen to them in use. Use the FluentU language studying program to see the phrases being utilized in native English movies like film clips, interviews, inspirational talks, brief cartoons and extra.

Seek for both phrase (or any English phrase) to see movies the place it’s getting used. FluentU’s contextual dictionary may even present you completely different examples for various meanings of every phrase. For instance, you’ll be able to see the phrase “for” getting used to indicate period (“for a way lengthy”), goal (“for what cause”), route of motion (“for you”) and all different meanings of the phrase.

For every which means, you’ll be able to see instance sentences and video clips from FluentU movies the place the phrase seems naturally. Plus, you should utilize FluentU’s personalised quizzes to memorize other ways to make use of “to” and “for.” When you’re on the iOS or Android apps, you’ll be able to even apply saying these phrases out loud in talking questions.

Because of the context of all of the movies and the detailed dictionary on FluentU, you’ll by no means confuse the 2 phrases once more.


I hope the variations between “to” and “for” are clear to you now.

When you make errors, that’s utterly okay. I made loads of grammar errors once I first began out.

Errors are superb, so long as you study from them. Simply hold finding out. Provide you with your individual examples and use the phrases in your every day conversations. Over time, apply will enhance your confidence. Quickly sufficient, you’ll grow to be a fluent English speaker!



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