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Thread: simple question

  1. #1
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default simple question

    What does "for" mean in "for the first time"?

    (I personally think it's almost the same as "as").

  2. #2
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    Default Re: simple question

    Hi,

    'For' has many different meanings, as you probably know, in this sentence it simply shows that something happens first time. It should be easier to understand this phrase when it is put in context, for example:

    "I am warning you for the last time. Do not kick your brother!"

    or

    "I met him for the first time yesterday."


    I hope it helps,
    Iza


    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    What does "for" mean in "for the first time"?

    (I personally think it's almost the same as "as").

  3. #3
    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple question

    Thanks, Iza. But I know the usage. What I'm interested in is the "for" itself.
    For example,The American Heritage Dictionariy says "for" is:

    1a. Used to indicate the object, aim, or purpose of an action or activity: trained for the ministry; put the house up for sale; plans to run for senator. b. Used to indicate a destination: headed off for town. 2. Used to indicate the object of a desire, intention, or perception: had a nose for news; eager for success. 3a. Used to indicate the recipient or beneficiary of an action: prepared lunch for us. b. On behalf of: spoke for all the members. c. In favor of: Were they for or against the proposal? d. In place of: a substitute for eggs. 4a. Used to indicate equivalence or equality: paid ten dollars for a ticket; repeated the conversation word for word. b. Used to indicate correlation or correspondence: took two steps back for every step forward. 5a. Used to indicate amount, extent, or duration: a bill for five dollars; walked for miles; stood in line for an hour. b. Used to indicate a specific time: had an appointment for two o'clock. c. Used to indicate a number of attempts: shot three for four from the foul line. 6a. As being: take for granted; mistook me for the librarian. b. Used to indicate an actual or implied listing or choosing: For one thing, we can't afford it. 7. As a result of; because of: jumped for joy. 8. Used to indicate appropriateness or suitability: It will be for the judge to decide. 9. Notwithstanding; despite: For all the problems, it was a valuable experience. 10a. As regards; concerning: a stickler for neatness. b. Considering the nature or usual character of: was spry for his advanced age. c. In honor of: named for her grandmother.

    Now, under which category do you think the "for" of "for the first time" falls?

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    Default Re: simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    What does "for" mean in "for the first time"?

    (I personally think it's almost the same as "as").
    I agree: something like "as being". :wink:

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple question

    Thank you, my sensei!

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple question

    Mike, a friend of mine says it is used to indicate amount, extent, or duration or to indicate a specific time (i.e. the usage #5 above).

    What do you think?

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    Default Re: simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Mike, a friend of mine says it is used to indicate amount, extent, or duration or to indicate a specific time (i.e. the usage #5 above).

    What do you think?
    I think it fits the first one better. This one is:

    For a few days, for an hour, for a mile, etc.

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    Default Re: simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Mike, a friend of mine says it is used to indicate amount, extent, or duration or to indicate a specific time (i.e. the usage #5 above).

    What do you think?
    I think it fits the first one better.
    I think so, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    This one is:
    For a few days, for an hour, for a mile, etc.
    That's duration(i.e. the usage #5a). I agree with you in that the "for" of "for the first time" is not duration.

    What do you think about the usage #5b, the indication of specific time?

  9. #9
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    Default Re: simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    Quote Originally Posted by Taka
    Mike, a friend of mine says it is used to indicate amount, extent, or duration or to indicate a specific time (i.e. the usage #5 above).

    What do you think?
    I think it fits the first one better.
    I think so, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    This one is:
    For a few days, for an hour, for a mile, etc.
    That's duration(i.e. the usage #5a). I agree with you in that the "for" of "for the first time" is not duration.

    What do you think about the usage #5b, the indication of specific time?
    That is more in the realm of "at 2 o'clock". Prepositions can be difficult to "define".

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    Taka is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: simple question

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
    That is more in the realm of "at 2 o'clock". Prepositions can be difficult to "define".
    Ah, that "time"!

    Anyway, my first pick is "as being", which is the same as yours, and I'm glad I've got the same psychology as that of a native speaker like you Mike in undertanding the usage.

    Thank you again, my sensei!

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