Difference Between To and For in English Grammar


The key difference between to and for is that to indicates a movement of a person or a thing from one place to another or from one person to another while for indicates a purpose, an intended goal, object or recipient of a perception, desire, or activity.

Since these two words are two common prepositions in the English language, they have numerous meanings and usages. In addition to its roles as a preposition, for also sometimes functions as a conjunction. Likewise, To is also used as an infinitive marker and sometimes as an adverb.

Difference Between To and For in English Grammar

CONTENTS

1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What Does To Mean
3. What Does For Mean
4. Side by Side Comparison – To vs For in Tabular Form
5. Summary

What Does To Mean?

To is a preposition that is used with a word in the fourth case called as the dative case. Look at the usage of the preposition to in the following sentences:

He gave a book to his classmate.

Francis traveled to London from Paris.

In the first sentence, you can see that a book was given by somebody to his classmate, and in the second sentence, you can find that Francis moved from one place to another. To is used in the sense of movement in both sentences. That is to say, to indicates a movement of a person or a thing from one place to another or from one person to another. In the first example, the usage of to indicates the movement of the book from a person to his classmate. Similarly, the second example indicates the movement of Francis from Paris to London.

Difference Between To and For in English Grammar

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