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  1. #1
    margreen Guest

    Question How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    Hi,

    I am currently teaching about 25 intermediate/advanced students. Their mother tongue is spanish and I am having a heck of a time explaining the usage of "to" and "for". I do not have a problem explaining them seperately however the questions occur when it is not clear which word to use.

    Can you give me some help, please.

    Thanks,

    Marcia

  2. #2
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    To + verb
    For + noun/gerund
    I stopped to have lunch.
    I stopped for lunch.

  3. #3
    margreen Guest

    Wink Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    That is a bit simplistic for what I am looking for. The problem exists because in Spanish they use "para" which is roughly translated into to and for. Hence, the problem occur with sentences like:
    I listen to music.

    In this case, your rule does not apply. Should I be teaching the verbs with there respective prepositions and the rule? For me it is not an issue but all of my students have a difficult time grasping the concept.

    Thanks,

    Marcia

  4. #4
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    There are so many different prepositional uses. Many have to be learned on a case by case basis. The rule I gave is a simple one that covers the basic dual use of 'para'. However, there are many exceptions where preposition is governed by collocation; in your example, would any Spanish speaker try to use 'para' there? I don't speak Spanish, but know Portuguese, and the Portuguese would be more likely to use nothing with 'listen'.

  5. #5
    Dandelion is offline Member
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    Default Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by margreen
    That is a bit simplistic for what I am looking for. The problem exists because in Spanish they use "para" which is roughly translated into to and for. Hence, the problem occur with sentences like:
    I listen to music.

    In this case, your rule does not apply. Should I be teaching the verbs with there respective prepositions and the rule? For me it is not an issue but all of my students have a difficult time grasping the concept.

    Thanks,

    Marcia
    To and For

    Use "to" to express

    1. destination 1. We’re going to Paris.
    2. before (in time) 2. It’s a quarter to 2.
    3. until 3. We’ll be in the office from 5 to 6.
    4. comparison 4. He won by 2 games to 3.
    I prefer sleeping to working.
    5. receiver 5. I gave the present to her.

    Use "for" to express

    1. “intended to belong to” 1. This is for you.
    2. length of time 2. We’ve lived here for 2 years.
    3. an arrangement 3. I made an appointment for May 3.
    4. “in favor of” 4. Are you for or against nuclear arms?
    5. reason 5. What did you do that for?
    6. purpose ( + noun) 6. Let’s go out for a meal.
    7. movement towards 7. They left for America this morning.
    8. on behalf of (to help somebody) 8. I’ve cut my finger. Could you please
    write a note for me?

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