Interested in Language
Sentence 1: I knew he was there, for I had seen him come.
Q. Why are we using "for" in the above sentence? Can we say the above sentence without using "for" like "I knew he was there, I had seen him come"? Or is it wrong to say that way?
Q. What is the meaning of "for" in the above sentence?
Q. Can we say like "I have seen him come" or "I saw him come", instead of "I had seen him come" in the above sentence?
Note that you could also use "come in" or "arrive" in your sentence instead of "come."
hariharakumar, please note that a better title would have been I knew he was there, for I had seen him come.
Extract from the Posting Guidelines:
'Thread titles should include all or part of the word/phrase being discussed.'
Please note the correct spelling of 'grammar'.
The past simple can work because both are finished past actions which could have happened at roughly the same time.
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.
***** NOT A TEACHER *****
I just thought that you would like to know that in 2015 there are still a few speakers who feel that there is a difference between "for" and "because."
I personally try to observe the difference (especially in writing), but I am sure that many times I use "because" when I should use "for" and vice versa.
1. Mr. Michael Swan's Practical English Usage (1995 edition) tells us:
a. "For" introduces new information, but suggests that the reason is an afterthought. [my emphasis]
i. His example: "I decided to stop and have lunch -- for I was feeling hungry."
2. The explanation that I like best comes from Pence & Emery's A Grammar of Present-Day English (1947 and 1963).
a. They tell us that sometimes "for" is about the same as "because,"
i. "I left early, for I had a long drive before me."
b. On the other hand, they say that sometimes "for" "gives evidence for the truth of a preceding sentence."
i. Their example: "Someone must have entered our house during our absence, for the lock on the front door has been broken."