Results 1 to 5 of 5
  1. margreen
    Guest
    #1

    Question How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    Hi,

    I am currently teaching about 25 intermediate/advanced students. Their mother tongue is spanish and I am having a heck of a time explaining the usage of "to" and "for". I do not have a problem explaining them seperately however the questions occur when it is not clear which word to use.

    Can you give me some help, please.

    Thanks,

    Marcia

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 61,107
    #2

    Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    To + verb
    For + noun/gerund
    I stopped to have lunch.
    I stopped for lunch.

  3. margreen
    Guest
    #3

    Wink Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    That is a bit simplistic for what I am looking for. The problem exists because in Spanish they use "para" which is roughly translated into to and for. Hence, the problem occur with sentences like:
    I listen to music.

    In this case, your rule does not apply. Should I be teaching the verbs with there respective prepositions and the rule? For me it is not an issue but all of my students have a difficult time grasping the concept.

    Thanks,

    Marcia

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 61,107
    #4

    Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    There are so many different prepositional uses. Many have to be learned on a case by case basis. The rule I gave is a simple one that covers the basic dual use of 'para'. However, there are many exceptions where preposition is governed by collocation; in your example, would any Spanish speaker try to use 'para' there? I don't speak Spanish, but know Portuguese, and the Portuguese would be more likely to use nothing with 'listen'.

  5. Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Jan 2005
    • Posts: 131
    #5

    Re: How to explain the difference between "to" and "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by margreen
    That is a bit simplistic for what I am looking for. The problem exists because in Spanish they use "para" which is roughly translated into to and for. Hence, the problem occur with sentences like:
    I listen to music.

    In this case, your rule does not apply. Should I be teaching the verbs with there respective prepositions and the rule? For me it is not an issue but all of my students have a difficult time grasping the concept.

    Thanks,

    Marcia
    To and For

    Use "to" to express

    1. destination 1. We’re going to Paris.
    2. before (in time) 2. It’s a quarter to 2.
    3. until 3. We’ll be in the office from 5 to 6.
    4. comparison 4. He won by 2 games to 3.
    I prefer sleeping to working.
    5. receiver 5. I gave the present to her.

    Use "for" to express

    1. “intended to belong to” 1. This is for you.
    2. length of time 2. We’ve lived here for 2 years.
    3. an arrangement 3. I made an appointment for May 3.
    4. “in favor of” 4. Are you for or against nuclear arms?
    5. reason 5. What did you do that for?
    6. purpose ( + noun) 6. Let’s go out for a meal.
    7. movement towards 7. They left for America this morning.
    8. on behalf of (to help somebody) 8. I’ve cut my finger. Could you please
    write a note for me?

Similar Threads

  1. "to" or "for"?
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 09-Jun-2006, 12:11
  2. "to" or "for"
    By Anonymous in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-Jun-2004, 14:26

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •