English Lesson: Prepositions To Vs. For

Michael Uncategorized 12 Comments

I like to drink coffee. I probably go out for coffee twice or sometime three times a day. This morning, when the guy behind the counter was handing the coffee to me he almost dropped it! I think his boss talked to him about that, too. Since he spilled some of it, he made a new cup for me. I always go to that shop so they know me…it’s a nice place!

To and for can be confusing for some students. Do you know the difference? Have another look at the paragraph above, then check today’s lesson:

To Vs. For

We use to + base verb which is called an infinitive

  • I like to drink coffee
  • My dog needs to eat twice a day
  • To be or not to be” (from Shakespeare)

We also use to when something is moved or transferred between locations or in the direction of a location

  • Can you give your homework to your teacher after class? There is movement of the homework between you and the teacher
  • I usually go to the library in the afternoon. There is movement in the direction of the library
  • I think I will talk to him about his class. The information goes from me to him

We use for when we want to refer to a purpose

  • This brush is used for calligraphy. The purpose of the brush is calligraphy.
  • I need a new laptop for work. The purpose of the new laptop is work.
  • Shampoo is special soap for your hair. The purpose of the shampoo is to clean your hair.

We also use for when something is to the benefit of ~

  • Can you check this for me.
  • Tommy bought a present for her birthday.
  • I would do anything for you!

When we use go, we prefer to use the go + to + verb and go + for + something

  • We will go to work today.
  • We will go for dinner after work