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    • Join Date: Jan 2006
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    when are 'for' and 'that' interchangable...?

    Hi .... another question.

    Ok my co-worker wants to re-write this sentence...

    it was common for athletes to compete naked....

    it was common that athletes competed naked.....

    the second one does not sound natural to me. I have looked up the use of 'for' in a grammar book and found an explanation that says...

    grammar explanation one
    ' other infinitive structures, it is used especially after adjectives, nouns and verbs; it can also act as the subject or object of a clause. It often has the same meaning as a that-clause.

    It then gives the following example....

    It's important for the meeting to start on time.
    It's important that the meeting should start on time.

    I can understand this example but do not think the first sentence mentioned is the same situation.

    In another grammar book i found...
    grammar explanation 2
    'for' is used to introduce a subject in an 'infinitive clause' - which seems to fit my first sentence

    - but is it related to the grammar point one info i copied down earlier???

    I also found an explanation that says....

    For - structures with preparatory it are common with many adjectives expressing possibility, necessity, importance, urgency, frequency and value judgements.....

    eg It's impossible for the job to be finished in time.
    I thought it strange for her to be out so late.
    It seems unnecessary for him to start work this week.

    I think my first sentence - it was common for the athletes to compete naked.... fits in with this category as well. i do not think the above sentences use 'for' instead of 'that'.... but how do I explain that to a non-native speaker????

    i am confused again!! any help would be very much appreicated.

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    Re: when are 'for' and 'that' interchangable...?

    Both sentences are OK, though I agree with you that the first sounds better. We often use 'that' with 'should' as in the example gievn, which wouldn't fit here.


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