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Thread: "to" or "for"

  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default "to" or "for"

    When you use "give" in S+V+O eg: I gave a paper plane to the boy.
    And you use the preposition "to".
    When you use "buy" eg: She bought a skateboard for her son.
    And you use the preposition "for".

    Do you have any rules to choose "to" or "for" according to verbs?
    I checked my grammar book, and it says that there are two types of verbs
    like "buy" and "give".
    But it is so hard to find which word is in the group of "buy" or "give".

    And the grammar book says:
    Please bring that chair to me. ( You might not sit on the chair, it might
    be for another person.)
    Please bring that chair for me. ( You would like to sit on that chair, so
    asked to bring.)
    Is that right?
    Do you have other examples like these sentences?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    Bring that chair to me = transport it to a location
    Bring that chair for me = do the work instead of me

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    Bring that chair to me = transport it to a location
    Bring that chair for me = do the work instead of me
    One could also read "for me" as "for my use".

  4. #4
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    Default Re: "to" or "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by agnes
    When you use "give" in S+V+O eg: I gave a paper plane to the boy.
    And you use the preposition "to".
    When you use "buy" eg: She bought a skateboard for her son.
    And you use the preposition "for".

    Do you have any rules to choose "to" or "for" according to verbs?
    I checked my grammar book, and it says that there are two types of verbs
    like "buy" and "give".
    But it is so hard to find which word is in the group of "buy" or "give".

    And the grammar book says:
    Please bring that chair to me. ( You might not sit on the chair, it might
    be for another person.)
    Please bring that chair for me. ( You would like to sit on that chair, so
    asked to bring.)
    Is that right?
    Do you have other examples like these sentences?
    One must know the meanings and uses of the different prepositions. As TDOL said, in these sentences "gave to" means transferred possession to another person and "bring to" means to transfer an object form one position to another poisition.

    "Buy for" means to purchase something for the benefit of another.
    "Bring for" means "bring for my benefit", either so I don't have to do it or so I can use it. :wink:

  5. #5
    norikoagnes Guest

    Default Re: "to" or "for"

    Thank you for your answers.
    I just tried to memorize which verb has "to" or "for" without thinking about the meaning.
    How do you, native speakers, learn prepositions? Especially when you were young at school?
    It's sometimes hard to choose right ones when I speak.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default

    We absorb them when growing up, so it's easy for us. I can see it from your angle, though; I'm beginning to learn Japanese and it is a hard slog where every word bears no resemblance to anything I know, unlike European languages, and the grammar is so different.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: "to" or "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by norikoagnes
    Thank you for your answers.
    I just tried to memorize which verb has "to" or "for" without thinking about the meaning.
    How do you, native speakers, learn prepositions? Especially when you were young at school?
    It's sometimes hard to choose right ones when I speak.
    I think we learn preposition choice by listening to others. It is far easier as a native speaker.

  8. #8
    Mattybarooka Guest

    Default Re: "to" or "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by agnes
    When you use "give" in S+V+O eg: I gave a paper plane to the boy.
    And you use the preposition "to".
    When you use "buy" eg: She bought a skateboard for her son.
    And you use the preposition "for".

    Do you have any rules to choose "to" or "for" according to verbs?
    I checked my grammar book, and it says that there are two types of verbs
    like "buy" and "give".
    But it is so hard to find which word is in the group of "buy" or "give".

    And the grammar book says:
    Please bring that chair to me. ( You might not sit on the chair, it might
    be for another person.)
    Please bring that chair for me. ( You would like to sit on that chair, so
    asked to bring.)
    Is that right?
    Do you have other examples like these sentences?

  9. #9
    Mattybarooka Guest

    Default Re: "to" or "for"

    You can change the whole structure S+V+O of the sentence and say that you placed the paper plane into their hands but that doesn't sound as natural

  10. #10
    norikoagnes Guest

    Default

    Thank you for your reply. Learning other languages is sometimes hard, but worth to do it!! :wink:

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