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  1. #1
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    Explanatory Conjunctions

    It will probably rain because there's a dark cloud approaching.
    It will probably rain, for there's a dark cloud approaching.


    How does one distinguish 'because' from '(comma) for'? A native speaker here told me he's never used 'for' in his life. :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Explanatory Conjunctions

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    It will probably rain because there's a dark cloud approaching.
    It will probably rain, for there's a dark cloud approaching.

    How does one distinguish 'because' from '(comma) for'? A native speaker here told me he's never used 'for' in his life. :)
    It's fairly out-dated, I'd agree. :wink:

    for on'(for reasons) on account of' (Old English); Modern English for ~ because.

    Quote Originally Posted by onelook.com
    for (conj.) introducing a reason of something, a cause, motive, explanation, justification, or the like. It is logically nearly equivalent to since, or because, but connects less closely.

  3. #3
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    Cas
    It's fairly out-dated, I'd agree.
    Really? It's quite trendy in our national exams. :)
    I have one full page discussing this on my grammar book. It says 'because' is used to mean direct reason, whereas 'for' is for additional reasons or an inference.

    Examples from my book
    The light went out, because the oil was out.
    The oil must be out, for the light went out.

    He is loved by all, because he is honest.
    He must be honest, for he is loved by all.

    It will probably rain tomorrow because there is a dark cloud approaching.
    It will rain, for the barameter is falling.
    It will rain, because the barameter is falling. :( :(


    The book mentioned that the last sentence goes very wrong. But somehow I think the last two are the same. Do you think it's incorrect?

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    'because' is used to mean direct reason, whereas 'for' is for additional reasons or an inference.
    I agree, as that's what the books tell me, too. 8)

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi

    1. It will probably rain tomorrow because there is a dark cloud approaching.
    2. It will rain, for the barometer is falling.
    3. It will rain, because the barometer is falling. :( :(

    The book mentioned that the last sentence is very wrong. But somehow I think the last two are the same. Do you think it's incorrect?
    Sorry, but 'for' just isn't in my dialect. :( Even though I understand its distrubition, I can't seem to be able to tell the difference between what's a direct reason and an indirect reason; that is, if it's the function of a barometer to detect atmospheric changes in the weather, then why couldn't we say, "It's going to rain. The reason I know that it's going to rain is because the barometer is falling." See, I just don't get it.

    Maybe, the answer is in the function of the entire phrase:

    Because there are dark clouds outside, it's going to rain. :)
    For the barometer is falling, it's going to rain.

    I look to you for advice. 8)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi

    1. It will probably rain tomorrow because there is a dark cloud approaching.
    2. It will rain, for the barometer is falling.
    3. It will rain, because the barometer is falling. :( :(

    The book mentioned that the last sentence is very wrong. But somehow I think the last two are the same. Do you think it's incorrect?
    Sorry, but 'for' just isn't in my dialect. :( Even though I understand its distrubition, I can't seem to be able to tell the difference between what's a direct reason and an indirect reason; that is, if it's the function of a barometer to detect atmospheric changes in the weather, then why couldn't we say, "It's going to rain. The reason I know that it's going to rain is because the barometer is falling." See, I just don't get it.

    Maybe, the answer is in the function of the entire phrase:

    Because there are dark clouds outside, it's going to rain. :)
    For the barometer is falling, it's going to rain.

    I look to you for advice. 8)

    1) The clause introduced by 'because' can occur either at the beginning of a sentence or follow the main clause, whereas the clause introduced by 'for' only occur after the main clause.
    Because there are dark clouds outside, it's going to rain. :)
    It's going to rain because there are dark clouds outside. :)
    It's going to rain, for the barometer is falling. :)

    2) My grammar book is Chinese version. It's the most detailed one(Chinese version) I have found on the market. It is edited by an Chinese English teacher with highly respected prestige. This is what he said.


    • It's wrong to say 'It will rain, because the barometer is falling.' Instead, we should say 'The barometer is falling because it's going to rain.' The reason that 'it's going to rain' causes the barameter to fall rather than that the falling of the barometer causes the rain.



    I agreed with him on that. But then, I do think the editor contradict himself at the same time because 'It will rain, for the barometer is falling.' is putting the cart before the horse. Do I make sense? :D

  7. #7
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    'For' is used with the same meaning as 'because' in many exampls. I think it is possible to use it without having exactly the same meaning, but you would need to travel back about a hundred years for anyone to understand you. You can use it to give the reason for your statement, but it's rather old-fashioned.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea

    Maybe, the answer is in the function of the entire phrase:

    Because there are dark clouds outside, it's going to rain. :)
    For the barometer is falling, it's going to rain.

    I look to you for advice. 8)
    1) The clause introduced by 'because' can occur either at the beginning of a sentence or follow the main clause, whereas the clause introduced by 'for' only occur after the main clause.

    Because there are dark clouds outside, it's going to rain. :)
    It's going to rain because there are dark clouds outside. :)
    It's going to rain, for the barometer is falling. :)
    Excellent! :D

    Quote Originally Posted by blacknomi
    2) My grammar book is Chinese version. It's the most detailed one(Chinese version) I have found on the market. It is edited by a highly respected and prestigious Chinese English teacher. This is what he said.

    • It's wrong to say 'It will rain, because the barometer is falling.' Instead, we should say 'The barometer is falling because it's going to rain.' The reason that 'it's going to rain' causes the barameter to fall rather than that the falling of the barometer causes the rain.


    I agreed with him on that. But then, I do think the editor contradict himself at the same time because 'It will rain, for the barometer is falling.' is putting the cart before the horse. Do I make sense? :D
    I agree, with both of you. :wink:

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