For - English Preposition

Prepositions - Lesson #5

We can use the preposition "for" in a few different ways. In this lesson, we will cover all of the different ways that we use the preposition "for".

1. We use "for" to tell the use or purpose of something. We use this pattern, "Subject + be verb + for +noun."
  • This cake is for her birthday.
  • This medicine is for women.
  • The room is used for conferences and meetings.
2. We can use "for" to say that something is good, suitable, or appropriate. It can also be used in the opposite way, to tell what is bad. In these sentences, put "for" after an adjective.
  • Smoking is not good for your health.
  • This movie is not appropriate for children.
  • Learning English is good for you.
  • This mountain is too high for children to climb.
  • It is too late for us to go now.
3. "For" can also have the same meaning as "because of".
  • I am happy for you.
  • She was sorry for what she did.
  • For this reason, I will quit my job.
4. We also use "for" to tell how long.
  • I lived there for 10 years, but now I don't live there.
  • I have taught English for 11 years.
  • She will be here for 3 days.
  • We will go for a couple of hours.
  • She looked at me for a second, and then she turned away.
5. We can use "for" when we are saying that one person does something instead of another person or if we do something for another person's benefit.
  • I couldn't give the presentation because I was sick, so James gave it for me.
  • My mom cooked for me when I was in high school.
  • I will finish this for you because you are so busy with other things.
  • She did it for me. I am really thankful for her.
6. We see the preposition "for" used very often with certain verbs. Here is a list of the most common "verb + for" combinations.

ask (somebody) forapply forwait for
search forlook forleave ( a place) for
care forpay (somebody) forthank (somebody) for
forgive (somebody) forapologize (to somebody) forblame (somebody) for
blame (something) forcall forfeel sorry for

We do not always need to include (somebody/something). Both of the examples below are okay.
  • I asked for help.
  • I asked her for help.
Here are some example sentences of the phrases above.
  • I think we should ask somebody for directions.
  • She will apply for that job.
  • I was waiting for you for over 2 hours!
  • They were searching for the missing child.
  • Can you help me look for my keys?
  • I left for the airport at 5 this morning.
  • I care for everybody in my family.
  • I will pay for the meal.
  • She paid me for my painting.
  • I want to thank you for coming.
  • Can you forgive me for what I have done?
  • She apologized for being late.
  • She apologized to use for breaking our vase.
  • He blamed his coworker for awful sales results.
  • The basketball player blamed his shoes for his bad game.
  • The politician called for change.
  • We felt sorry for her.
7. We also see the preposition "for" used together with certain adjectives. Here is a list of the most common ones.

good forbad forfun for
sorry forresponsible forfamous for
thankful forhappy forexcited for
  • Exercise is good for our bodies.
  • Smoking is bad for you.
  • This game is fun for kids.
  • I am sorry for being late.
  • I am responsible for distribution at my company.
  • This restaurant is famous for their chicken soup.
  • I am thankful for my family.
  • She said that she is happy for you.
  • They are excited for the birth of their second child.
Prepositions are one of the hardest things for people who are learning English to master. But you should not worry about prepositions too much. Most times, if you make a mistake with a preposition, the other person can still understand what you are saying. However, if you want to be an excellent or fluent English speaker, then you must know how to use prepositions correctly. It will take time to master English prepositions, but if you study these lessons and come back to review them often, then you will gain a better understanding of how and when to use each English preposition.