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.

2 Answers


Native 7610

The prepositions to and for are very easy to confuse! Here are some rules:

Use TO in these cases:

  1. Destination: “We’re going to Paris.”
  2. What time it is: “It’s a quarter to 2.”
  3. Distance: “It’s about ten miles from my house to the university.”
  4. Comparing: “I prefer sleeping to working.”
  5. Giving: “I gave the book to my sister.”
  6. Motive/Reason – with verb:
  7. “I came here to see you.”

Use FOR in these cases:

  1. Benefits: “Yogurt is good for your digestion.”
  2. Period of time: “We’ve lived here for 2 years.”
  3. Schedule: “I made an appointment for May 3.”
  4. Agree with: “Are you for or against the development of nuclear weapons?”
  5. Doing something to help someone: “Could you carry these books for me?”
  6. Motive/Reason – with noun: “Let’s go out for a drink.”
  7. 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.


Thank you very much for your kind answer. Now I have very clear the difference between that two propositions.

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