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  1. #1
    simile is offline Junior Member
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    Question supply sth "for" sb??

    Hi,
    I have a question here.
    In the textbook we are using, there is a sentence like this:
    This school supplies lunch for the students.

    I check all the resources I have such as Collins Cobuild, Oxford, Longman, usage dictionary, phrasal verbs dictionary, grammar books, etc.
    What are officially offered there are all "supply sth to sb."
    Only in the Collins Cobuild Corpus, I see the pattern of "supply sth for sb."
    Does that mean that the pattern of "supply sth for sb" is used in daily life nowadays, but still doesn't gain the recognition in the world of dictionary?

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
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    Re: supply sth "for" sb??

    Supplying something to a subject, would indicate delivery to the subject. If the lunch is made available, whether or not the subject chooses to eat it, would surely mean that the school supplies it for the students, but not to them?

    Not a teacher.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Re: supply sth "for" sb??

    Does that mean that the pattern of "supply sth for sb" is used in daily life nowadays, but still doesn't gain the recognition in the world of dictionary?

    No. Both are used, but have different meanings.

    The preposition 'to' conveys the idea of ‘motion towards’ somebody or something, and so specifically identifies the recipient/the receiver of what is being supplied.

    'for' emphasizes the idea of being ‘for that person’s use’, ‘for that person’s benefit’; and hence, ‘for’ is also used when we specifically refer to ’supplying for a purpose’, as in “We supply equipment for all your camping needs.”

    Let's use some examples to clarify:

    I manufacture chairs. I supply to wholesalers, who supply to retail furniture stores. ‘to’ here identifies the receiver of my chairs.

    "Libya will pull assets, stops oil supply to Switzerland"
    The recipient of the oil supply is the country.

    Look at this one, though:
    "A doctor shall not supply to a person whom he considers, or has reasonable grounds to suspect, is addicted to any drug."
    While we can well imagine that the addict would use the drugs for his own benefit, “for ‘recreational’ purposes”, what is being emphasized is the type of patient who can and who cannot be given/receive the drug.

    In your sentence:
    “This school supplies lunch for the students.”
    Here, the receivers are identified – students – but ‘for’ emphasizes that what is being supplied is for their direct benefit/use.

    Take this newspaper headline:
    Temporary water supply for town
    "About 10,000 homes in Tewkesbury have had their water restored using a temporary supply."

    The writer could have said, "Temporary water supply to town", which would indicate that water is again flowing to and into the town, and being received there; but the use of 'for' emphasizes that the water is for the immediate direct benefit of the citizens, which is the whole puporse of putting in some emergency, temporary supply.( 'town' here is being used as a shorthand term: "Temporary water supply for citizens of Tewkesbury town.")
    Last edited by David L.; 07-Apr-2009 at 07:03.

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