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Preposition - For

Preposition - For

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Preposition – For

 

Hello! In this lesson we will learn to use the preposition "for". In previous lessons, we have learned how to use the prepositions "in, on, over, under, of,", and "beside".  

We have learned that prepositions show the relationship between persons, places, things, and ideas. Prepositions often have both concrete and abstract meanings.

The preposition "for" has many meanings and usages. In this lesson, we will learn some of its common usages. In the most common usage of the preposition "for", its meaning is an intention to make something belong to someone.

For example, we might say "I baked this dessert for you.", or "This cake is for you.". The preposition "for" also means: in the interests of something or someone. For example, "David works for his boss.".  

The preposition "for" sometimes means: in order to acquire something. For example, we could say "Jennifer works for money.", which means that Jennifer works in order to acquire money.

Sometimes the preposition "for" means: in the direction toward a destination. For example, we might say "The man started for San Francisco this morning.", which means that the man started traveling toward the destination of San Francisco this morning.

The preposition "for" sometimes means: with regard to or with respect to something or someone. We might say "We do not have time for dessert.", which means there is not time to spend eating dessert.

The preposition "for" is used to express a duration of time. For example, we might say "David will work late every day for two weeks.", which means that during a specified two-week time, David will work late every day.

The preposition "for" is sometimes used to indicate a specific time. For example "I will keep the cake for tomorrow.", which means the speaker will keep the cake until tomorrow.

There are other uses of the preposition "for" which we will cover in a later lesson. Later we will cover specific verbs which are often used with the word "for".

For now, we will listen to a dialog. Listen for the various uses of the preposition "for".

Jennifer:  Look! I baked a chocolate cake for you!

David:  It's big! I can eat cake every day for a week!

Jennifer: No, you cannot. A lot of cake is not good for you.

David: I do not have time for cake today.

Jennifer:  No time for cake?

David:  I should work for a few hours.

Jennifer: We can keep the cake for tomorrow.

Now that you have heard the dialog, let us examine the sentences more carefully.

Jennifer begins by saying "Look! I baked a chocolate cake for you!".In this sentence, Jennifer baked the cake with the intention of making it belong to David.

David responds "It's big! I can eat cake every day for a week!". In this sentence, David means that he can eat cake every day for the duration of a week because the cake is big. The phrase "for a week" means during the time span of a week.

Jennifer tells him "A lot of cake is not good for you.". In this case, the preposition "for" means: in the interests of. The expression "not good for you" means: not in your best interests.

David responds "I do not have time for cake today.".In this sentence, David means there is not time to spend eating cake; there is no time regarding cake. He might also say "I do not have time for TV." or "I do not have time for dinner.". Jennifer repeats "No time for cake?".
David says "I should work for a few hours." This usage of the preposition "for" means: for the duration of a few hours.    

Jennifer says "We can keep the cake for tomorrow.". This usage of the preposition "for" indicates a specific time.  Jennifer's sentence means that they will save the cake until tomorrow.

Now that we have examined the sentences, let us listen to the dialog again. Listen for the varying meanings of the word "for".

Jennifer:  Look! I baked a chocolate cake for you!

David:  It's big! I can eat cake every day for a week!

Jennifer:  No, you cannot.  A lot of cake is not good for you.

David:  I do not have time for cake today.

Jennifer:  No time for cake?

David:  I should work for a few hours.

Jennifer: We can keep the cake for tomorrow.

Great! You have learned many uses of the preposition "for". You can use this preposition to discuss gifts and meals for people, reasons for doing things, destinations, durations of time, and more.  Enjoy your conversations in English!