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    #1

    to/for (job, function etc.)

    Which are correct:

    1-He was a cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    2-He was a cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (He was a cook who prepared Italian dishes. That was his specialty and what he did. He was an expert at cooking Italian dishes.)

    3-They had a cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    4-They had a cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (They had a cook who prepared Italian dishes.)

    5-He was their cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    6-He was their cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (Context and meaning: They had a number of cooks. Each of them did different things. He was the one who prepared the Italian dishes.)

    The structures "a noun for gerund" and "a noun + infinitive" ("a key for starting the engine", "a key to start the engine") are commonly used to define the function of an object. However the first noun is rarely, if ever, a person. I wanted to see if one could use these structures for a person.

  1. freezeframe's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: to/for (job, function etc.)

    Quote Originally Posted by navi tasan View Post
    Which are correct:

    1-He was a cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    2-He was a cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (He was a cook who prepared Italian dishes. That was his specialty and what he did. He was an expert at cooking Italian dishes.)

    Both sound very strange. We call someone whose specialty is Italian cooking an Italian chef.

    3-They had a cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    4-They had a cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (They had a cook who prepared Italian dishes.)

    I guess this could be used if, let's say, they cooked all other kinds of dishes themselves but they had a chef for cooking Italian dishes specifically.

    5-He was their cook for preparing Italian dishes.
    6-He was their cook to prepare Italian dishes.
    (Context and meaning: They had a number of cooks. Each of them did different things. He was the one who prepared the Italian dishes.)

    Again, this sounds strange but I guess in some contexts it could work. For sounds better.

    Please note the difference between chef and cook. Someone who has a specialty, like in your examples, is a chef. A chef is highly trained, a cook is more like "general labor".

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    #3

    Re: to/for (job, function etc.)

    Thanks a lot Freezeframe.

    I thought that an "Italian chef" would have to be Italian. I guess that is not the case.

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