Results 1 to 7 of 7
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Urdu
      • Home Country:
      • Pakistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 419
    #1

    the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    I think you serve at a location, like he serves at the airport, he serves at a hospital/school, etc. And you serve for someone or some organization.

    She serves for the United Airlines.
    He serves for Pakistan Tobacco Company.


    If what I think is correct, it can be confusing sometimes. Since companies like Microsoft Corporation can either be an organization and a location.

    She works for Microsoft.
    She works at Microsoft headquarters in Washington.


    Is it correct to say?

    Her father serves at the airbase.
    He serves for the air-force.


    Regards
    Aamir the Global Citizen

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,346
    #2

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    She may work for United Airlines. We don't say she "serves" for them. The sentence She works for Microsoft tells you which company employs her but says nothing about where her office is. If you want to know her location, you need more text as in She works at Microsoft headquarters in Washington.

    Her father serves at the airbase could be correct if her father is a member of the military but it's not very natural. Works would be better. He serves for the air force​ (no hyphen) is incorrect.
    I am not a teacher.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK

    • Join Date: Mar 2014
    • Posts: 1,741
    #3

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    Aamir, try to separate the prepositions for and at from the verb to serve - there's no special relationship. Your question would be better if it was just asking about the use of serve. If a preposition happens to follow the verb, it usually goes with the words that come after it.

    (If you are a member of the armed forces, you might be in the army. You can say that you serve in the army.)

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #4

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    If you are a member of the armed forces, you serve "in" not "serve "for."

    Today I saw a veteran (his badge identified him as such) and I asked him "What branch were you in?" (Air Force) and then "Where did you serve?" I don't know if civilians would use that same phrasing.

    I use "serve" ONLY for the military; I'd never use it for Microsoft, unless it was in some joking way like comparing working for a company to being in the military.
    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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Urdu
      • Home Country:
      • Pakistan
      • Current Location:
      • Pakistan

    • Join Date: Mar 2016
    • Posts: 419
    #5

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post

    I use "serve" ONLY for the military; I'd never use it for Microsoft, unless it was in some joking way like comparing working for a company to being in the military.
    I used "work" for Microsoft in one of my example sentences.

    Thanks anyway these details are of great help. We ignore these things that's why the English we speak is very unnatural.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Mar 2007
    • Posts: 19,221
    #6

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    Yes, you did, but "serve" isn't used for an airline or a tobacco company either.
    Just "work."
    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.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Laos

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 57,910
    #7

    Re: the difference between "to serve for" and "to serve at"?

    You can also serve customers in a shop or restaurant, but no preposition is required. Your examples with places and companies don't work for me.

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Jan-2014, 04:26
  2. The difference between "pathways", "tracks", and "orbits"
    By shaima19991 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Mar-2012, 18:30
  3. [Vocabulary] Difference between "health" and "wellness", "Diagnosis" and "Analysis"
    By tobysky in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 28-Dec-2010, 23:43
  4. [Grammar] Difference between "ing"&"simple present" after "to"
    By Gavin1705 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 21-Jul-2010, 23:51
  5. "serve time"
    By sara88 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Oct-2007, 14:45

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •