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    #1

    for vs in

    Hi ALL,

    Please see the two sentences cited below:


    Britain appointed its first ambassador to Somalia for 21 years on Thursday during a visit to the capital of the anarchic Horn of Africa nation by Foreign Secretary William Hague.



    On 2 February 2012 he was accredited as the first British Ambassador to Somalia for 21 years


    I don't understand how for is used in this context. I would rather use in instead of for.
    However, I know perfectly that they can't be wrong as they appear on British websites.
    Could anybody please explain to me the prepositional use of for in this context?

    Thanks,
    Birendra

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    #2

    Re: for vs in

    for (prep.) Indicating the space or time through which an action or state extends,
    (Macmillan)

    You are correct in considering in to be acceptable in this context.

    Rover

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    #3

    Re: for vs in

    Both prepositions are OK.

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: for vs in

    He was the first ambassador appointed for (or 'in') twenty-one years.
    He was the first ambassador appointed since 1991.

    I would use 'for' in the first sentence. This is more common than 'in' in BrE, in my opinion.

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    #5

    Re: for vs in

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Birendra:

    (1) I believe that 99.99% of native-born Americans would insist on in.

    (2) I distinctly remember the first time that I saw "for" used in such a sentence (in a British publication). Like you, I was also

    so bemused that I had to stop reading the article and wondered if the fault lay with me.


    HAVE A NICE DAY!
    Last edited by TheParser; 09-Apr-2012 at 13:47. Reason: added "ed" to "wonder."

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    #6

    Re: for vs in

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    (1) I believe that 99.99% of native-born Americans would insist on in.
    I agree. In fact, to my AmE ears, "Britain appointed its first ambassador to Somalia for 21 years" sounds like Britain has been appointing the same first ambassador over the course of 21 years!

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    #7

    Re: for vs in

    Thanks everybody for the replies. I was bemused when I first read the sentence. Like Bob Smith I also thought that the British ambassador was going to be appointed over the course of 21 years....However, I now understand that in British English both in and for are acceptable in such cases.

    Thanks,
    Birendra

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    #8

    Re: for vs in

    I learned something new today. I would have said the sentence was wrong, unless the position had a 21-year term. Now I know better.

    Prepositions are tricky beasts.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #9

    Re: for vs in

    Quote Originally Posted by BobSmith View Post
    I agree. In fact, to my AmE ears, "Britain appointed its first ambassador to Somalia for 21 years" sounds like Britain has been appointing the same first ambassador over the course of 21 years!
    We live and learn.

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