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Thread: "For" "To"

  1. #1
    kooiu is offline Junior Member
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    Default "For" "To"

    Are sentences 1 to 4 different with the use of "for" or "to"? How correct am I to use "for" and "to" as follows:

    1a. An issue is what democratization means for the rural poor.
    1b. An issue is what democratization means to the rural poor.

    2a. Democratization is important for me.
    2b. Democratization is important to me.

    3a. The opinions of the critics meant nothing for him.
    3b. The opinions of the critics meant nothing to him.

    4a. She meant so much for me.
    4b. She meant so much to me.

  2. #2
    savedhamlet554 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "For" "To"

    I'm not a hundred percent sure as prepositions are always tricky for a non native but I would see the difference as follows:

    1a. An issue is what democratization means for the rural poor.
    --> = what effect it has on the poor
    1b. An issue is what democratization means to the rural poor.
    --> = what it means to the poor themselves

    2a. Democratization is important for me.
    --> = important for my life (I think there are only few times where "for" is used with important: e.g. "it is important for me to eat healthy food". I'd usually go with "sth. is important to me" in the sense of 2b.)
    2b. Democratization is important to me.
    --> = it means a lot to me

    3a. The opinions of the critics meant nothing for him.
    --> = they had no effect on him
    3b. The opinions of the critics meant nothing to him.
    --> = he didn't care about them

    4a. She meant so much for me.
    --> (I don't think this is correct at all!)
    4b. She meant so much to me.
    --> = I loved her very dearly

  3. #3
    kooiu is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: "For" "To"

    Hi hamlet554,
    Thank you for the useful information you provided on the use of "for" and "to". Very useful!!!

    Please tell me what these two sentences mean.

    Electricty is important for life.
    Electricity is important to life.

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