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  1. enydia's Avatar

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 414
    #1

    'cater for' or 'cater to'

    Hi, Teachers.

    Is there any difference between 'cater for' and 'cater to'? I'm confused about the following information from different dictionaries.
    Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's Dictionary (5th Edition)
    ...
    In British English, to cater for a group of people means to provide all the things that they need or want. In American English, you say you cater to a person or group of people.
    ...
    In British English, to cater for something means to take it into account. In American English, you say you cater to something.
    ...
    Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary (6th Edition)
    ...
    cater for sb/sth to provide the things that a particular person or situation needs or wants
    ...
    cater to sb/sth to provide the things that a particular type or person wants, especially things that you do not approve of
    ...
    The Collins dictionary considered the difference between those two phrases as sth arising from the division of BrE and AmE while the Oxford dictionary indicated the difference between the objects of the phrases. As a beginner, I'm somewhat bewildered. It would be very nice if you could give me some advice.

    Thank you in advance.

    Enydia

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,615
    #2

    Re: 'cater for' or 'cater to'

    They are both right, the OED is explaining the difference in meaning between the two in BrE, whereas Collins is pointing out that they are used differently in the USA.

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