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    for vs to

    a friend of mine (naive speaker) said that "for" and "to" has a slight difference in meaning in sentences. But he couldn't explain well..

    1-1. I am grateful to him // I have an affection to him
    1-2. I am grateful for him // I have an affection for him

    2-1. They sailed for New York.
    2-2. They sailed to New York.

    Every sentence has its own meaning but I can't tell the difference...Could you explain please?

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    Re: for vs to

    ---Not a teacher, just a English learner---

    Group 1
    In my opinion, "for" is more likely to indicate that you thanks for somthing that someone do for you whereas "to" indicate that maybe the one you want to thank actually do nothing. For instance, you are in a trouble, and they do not help you to resolve the problem and maybe they just call you to show their caring.

    Group 2
    In my opinion, "for" is more likely to indicate that the direction you want to go while "to" indicate the destination you want to go.#1 You can understand that they may arrive a place close to New York#2 They have been to New York.

    Maybe my understanding is wrong, I hope I would not misguide you, any others comments?
    Last edited by Mark_000; 15-May-2012 at 07:24.

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    Re: for vs to

    Quote Originally Posted by layla0302 View Post
    I am grateful to him.
    The idea is that my gratitude is a result of things he has done.

    I am grateful for him
    The idea is that I am grateful that he is part of my life.

    There may not be a great deal of practical difference between the two if someone is speaking in very general terms. However only 'to' is possible as the first preposition in sentences such as the following, in which the reason for the gratitude is given in the same clause:

    I am grateful to him for (for example:) lending me the money / his generosity / all he he has done for me.

    I have an affection to him Not natural, in my opinion.
    I have an affection for him.

    They sailed for New York. New York was their destination. They may or may not have arrived there.
    They sailed to New York. The very strong implication is that they arrived in New York.


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