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  1. Nightmare85's Avatar
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    #1

    Starting a question with "for"

    Hello,
    In German it's common but I don't know how it is in English.
    I know that it's better that for stays in the end of this sentence:
    What are you waiting for?

    The problem is that there are many more sentence where I don't know how to use the for.
    For what are you still here? He left hours ago.
    Also possible: Why are you still here?
    For what reason can't you stand me?
    Also possible: Why can't you stand me?
    For how long have you been waiting here?
    (Also possible without for)
    For how many years have I told you this?

    Hmm as you can see most of these examples (where I used for) are kind of strange.
    I would like to know if they are grammatically correct.
    If not, would you please write a question that starts with for?

    Thank you!

    Cheers!

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    #2

    Re: Starting a question with "for"

    The first sentence sounds odd to my ears. I would say "What are you still here for" or simply "Why are you still here?"

    The second sentence also sounds somewhat odd, although it's correct. I think "Why can't you stand me?" is better.

    The last sentence should read: "For how many years have I been telling you this?"

    Not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Starting a question with "for"

    I don't think one would say "For what reason can't you stand me" in day-to-day English, but in more formal English one might say it.

    That sentence is probably a literal translation from German (Aus welchem Grund kannst du mich nicht ausstehen).

  2. kfredson's Avatar

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    #4

    Re: Starting a question with "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by Jasmin165 View Post
    The first sentence sounds odd to my ears. I would say "What are you still here for" or simply "Why are you still here?"

    The second sentence also sounds somewhat odd, although it's correct. I think "Why can't you stand me?" is better.

    The last sentence should read: "For how many years have I been telling you this?"

    Not a teacher.
    I fully agree. You state it in an eminently clear fashion. Thank you.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Starting a question with "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare85 View Post
    Hello,
    In German it's common but I don't know how it is in English.
    I know that it's better that for stays in the end of this sentence:
    What are you waiting for?
    Be aware that some questions use 'for' differently.

    - Meaning "because". These are generally follow-on sentences:
    For what is a man? What has he got? If not himself ... ("My Way")
    For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?


    Naturally, sentences starting with 'for' don't have to be questions:
    For reasons best known to her, she did not show up for our date.
    For what reason she stood me up, I don't know. (= "Why she stood me up ...")
    For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory ...

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    #6

    Exclamation Re: Starting a question with "for"

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    Be aware that some questions use 'for' differently.

    - Meaning "because". These are generally follow-on sentences:
    It has to be noted that a preposition normally precedes its complement to form a prepositional phrase and there is no interrogative preposition in English which can be used at the beginning to form a question. However, as pointed out by Raymott we can use interrogative pronoun/adverb with ‘for’ to ask questions as follow-on sentence as:

    Does he stand for anyone? Yes. For whom(does he stand)?
    Is Common Cold Contagious?Yes. For how long( is common cold contagious)?
    Last edited by sarat_106; 23-Mar-2010 at 05:20.

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