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  1. #1
    huacheetah is offline Newbie
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    Default when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Hi everyone,
    I'm an ESL teacher and my students often use "in order to" when "for + gerund" sounds better and vice versa. They also sometimes put "in order to" when they really just need the infinitive. Is there an easy rule to teach them so they know what to use when, or do they just have to memorize each case?

    For example, my student writes:
    The author states that the best way in order to deter murders is by having the death penalty.

    This should be: The author states that the best way to deter murders is by having the death penalty.

    Another example:
    They discuss whether this policy is an effective method in order to deter murders.
    Here it should be: for deterring murders.

    How do I explain these differences? Is there a grammar feature I'm missing here that explains when to use "in order to", when to use the infinitive, and when to use "for + the gerund".

    Thanks in advance.

    Saludos,
    Mae

  2. #2
    mara_ce's Avatar
    mara_ce is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    According to my book you can’t use for + a verb to express purpose ( Typical mistake: I came to class for to learn English.)

    We only use for + gerund to explain the purpose of an object, e.g. This knife is for peeling potatoes.

    Use (in order) to, so that, so as to , and for to express a purpose for doing something.

    I went to the bank (in order) to / so as to take out some money.
    I went to the bank for a meeting with the manager.
    I went to the bank so (that) I could pay my friend back.

  3. #3
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by huacheetah View Post
    Hi everyone,
    I'm an ESL teacher and my students often use "in order to" when "for + gerund" sounds better and vice versa. They also sometimes put "in order to" when they really just need the infinitive. Is there an easy rule to teach them so they know what to use when, or do they just have to memorize each case?

    For example, my student writes: The author states that the best way in order to deter murders is by having the death penalty.

    This should be: The author states that the best way to deter murders is by having the death penalty.

    Another example:
    They discuss whether this policy is an effective method in order to deter murders.
    Here it should be: for deterring murders.

    How do I explain these differences? Is there a grammar feature I'm missing here that explains when to use "in order to", when to use the infinitive, and when to use "for + the gerund".

    Thanks in advance.

    Saludos,
    Mae
    In order to and to are synonym, so they are interchangeable, except in passive form. Also from language point of view, you can suggest to use this phrase in order to avoid repetition and express achievement of specific objective; as:;
    § The building has been pulled down in order to be rebuilt.
    § The company’s mission is to produce high-quality products at affordable prices in order to appeal to the largest possible cross-section of the population
    § He talked to John to get information respecting her and Anderson and then to Anderson in order to learn something of John.

  4. #4
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    In order to and to are synonym, so they are interchangeable, except in passive form.
    Not so! There is a significant grammatical difference: a to-infinitive can serve both an adjectival and an adverbial function, illustrated respectively by

    [1] This is a good way to save money.
    [2] He saved money to buy a car.

    In [1] infinitive phrase 'to save money' adjectivally postmodifies NP 'a way', whereas in [2] infinitive phrase 'to buy a car' adverbially modifies VP 'saved money'.

    'In order to V', on the other hand, is adverbial only, and cannot serve an adjectival function, so that, while

    [2a] He saved money in order to buy a car.

    is acceptable (simply a more formal equivalent of [2]),

    [1a] *This is a good way in order to save money.

    is not.

    'For Ving' similarly acts only adjectivally, but typically shows the purpose of a tool or implement rather than the reason for an action. Thus, we would say

    [3] A pencil is for writing.

    and not

    [3a] *A pencil is to write.

    and [1] above rather than

    [4] *This is a good way for saving money.

  5. #5
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Quote Originally Posted by philo2009 View Post
    [1] This is a good way to save money.
    [2] He saved money to buy a car.

    In [1] infinitive phrase 'to save money' adjectivally postmodifies NP 'a way', whereas in [2] infinitive phrase 'to buy a car' adverbially modifies VP 'saved money'.

    'In order to V', on the other hand, is adverbial only, and cannot serve an adjectival function, so that, while

    [2a] He saved money in order to buy a car.

    is acceptable (simply a more formal equivalent of [2]),

    [1a] *This is a good way in order to save money.

    is not.

    .
    I agree. In that case it can be explained that In order to and to are synonym but they are interchangeable only when serving adverbial function. What do you think about the language improvement?

  6. #6
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Yes, an acceptable emendation!

  7. #7
    Cervantes is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    In most English grammar books "in order to" is considered wordy.
    if "In order to and to are synonym, interchangeable", why use three words instead of one?

  8. #8
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: when to use "in order to", when to use "for..."

    Its "wordiness" is a matter of opinion. The fact is, it is more formal. Whether, in any given to context, you actually choose to use it is entirely up to you!

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