Hello. I've been followed this site and I realized that is a very good tool to improve my English skills. That's why I want you to help me with this doubt: I need to know when should I use To and when For, sometimes I make terrible mistakes because I use them in a wrong context. Or I use one of them when I really should use the other one. Thank you in advance.
The prepositions to and for are very easy to confuse! Here are some rules:
Use TO in these cases:
- Destination: “We’re going to Paris.”
- What time it is: “It’s a quarter to 2.”
- Distance: “It’s about ten miles from my house to the university.”
- Comparing: “I prefer sleeping to working.”
- Giving: “I gave the book to my sister.”
- Motive/Reason – with verb:
- “I came here to see you.”
Use FOR in these cases:
- Benefits: “Yogurt is good for your digestion.”
- Period of time: “We’ve lived here for 2 years.”
- Schedule: “I made an appointment for May 3.”
- Agree with: “Are you for or against the development of nuclear weapons?”
- Doing something to help someone: “Could you carry these books for me?”
- Motive/Reason – with noun: “Let’s go out for a drink.”
- Function – with verb (-ing form): “A ladle is a big spoon used for serving soup.”
As you can see in #6, TO or FOR can be used for a motive/reason, but TO is always with a verb, and FOR is always with a noun. Here’s a good example:
- I came to New York to work.
- I came to New York for a new job.