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  1. #1
    anhnha's Avatar
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    Default for I do not know the answer vs because I do not know the answer

    1. I shan't try to answer your question, for I do not know the answer.
    2.
    I shan't try to answer your question because I do not know the answer.
    Is there any difference in meaning between #1 and #2? Which sentence is better?



  2. #2
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    Default Re: for I do not know the answer vs because I do not know the answer

    There is no difference in meaning.
    The second sentence is more natural. Using "for" to mean "because" sounds somewhat old-fashioned.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    ComputerMoses is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: for I do not know the answer vs because I do not know the answer

    for and because. The former is subjective ('Don't swear, for I dislike swearing'), the latter objective (They did that, because events compelled them'); the former may represent the writer's own view, the latter the immediate and explicit cause. Quote from 'Usage And Abusage' by Eric Partridge.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: for I do not know the answer vs because I do not know the answer

    Partridge wrote those words seventy years ago. I don't think anybody would feel that difference today. As ems said, 'for' sounds somewhat old-fashioned nowadays.

  5. #5
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: for I do not know the answer vs because I do not know the answer

    Quote Originally Posted by ComputerMoses View Post
    for and because. The former is subjective ('Don't swear, for I dislike swearing'), the latter objective (They did that, because events compelled them'); the former may represent the writer's own view, the latter the immediate and explicit cause. Quote from 'Usage And Abusage' by Eric Partridge.
    Welcome to Using English, ComputerMoses. Your future contributions may well be of great benefit to the forums.

    Please read the Posting Guidelines — especially this extract:

    You are welcome to answer questions posted in the Ask a Teacher forum as long as your suggestions, help, and advice reflect a good understanding of the English language. If you are not a teacher, you will need to state that clearly at the top of your post.

    Thank you.

    Rover
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 06-Feb-2013 at 22:23.

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