used to x used for

Status
Not open for further replies.

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Pens are used to write
Pens are used for writing

Are both sentences right?
 

MrPedantic

Key Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Hello BB,

#2 is fine. For #1, it would be more usual to say:

1. Pens are used to write with.

Best wishes,

MrP
 

stuartnz

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
New Zealand
Current Location
New Zealand
Pens are used to write
Pens are used for writing

Are both sentences right?

I'm not an English teacher, but the answer to your question is definitely yes. Both sentences are correct. In the case of the first sentence, you would often see or hear "pens are used to write with", a usage which, although natural and grammatical in standard English, is frowned on by some who adhere to an arbitrary rule invented in the 18th century which says that sentences should not end with a preposition.
 

beachboy

Key Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Member Type
Interested in Language
Native Language
Portuguese
Home Country
Brazil
Current Location
Brazil
Pens are used to write with.
I'm curious: is the word with considered a preposition in the example above, or it becomes a particle?
And, wow, would those people in the eighteenth century frown on a sentence like "That's the girl I was talking about"?
 

stuartnz

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2008
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
New Zealand
Current Location
New Zealand
Pens are used to write with.
I'm curious: is the word with considered a preposition in the example above, or it becomes a particle?
And, wow, would those people in the eighteenth century frown on a sentence like "That's the girl I was talking about"?

Sorry for the distraction. It is or was a silly and pointless rule, without foundation in English grammar, much like the equally inane prohibition on splitting infinitives. At least the stricture against sentence-ending prepositions has given us an amusing quote. I've most often seen it attributed to Sir Winston Churchill: "that is a rule up with which I shall not put." :-o
 

MrPedantic

Key Member
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
Member Type
Other
Native Language
English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Hello BB,

Yes, I would call "with" a preposition in the sentence "Pens are used to write with".

Since it lacks a direct complement, it would serve as an example of "prepositional stranding".

Best wishes,

MrP
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top