Meaning of FOR in English

transcription, транскрипция: [ fə(r), STRONG fɔ:(r) ]

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English.

Note: In addition to the uses shown below, 'for' is used after some verbs, nouns, and adjectives in order to introduce extra information, and in phrasal verbs such as ‘account for’ and ‘make up for’. It is also used with some verbs that have two objects in order to introduce the second object.


If something is for someone, they are intended to have it or benefit from it.

Isn’t that enough for you?...

I have some free advice for you.

...a table for two...

Your mother is only trying to make things easier for you...

What have you got for me this morning, Patrick?...

He wanted all the running of the business for himself.



If you work or do a job for someone, you are employed by them.

I knew he worked for a security firm...

Have you had any experience writing for radio?

...a buyer for one of the largest chain stores in the south.



If you speak or act for a particular group or organization, you represent them.

She appears nightly on the television news, speaking for the State Department.

...the spokesman for the Democrats.



If someone does something for you, they do it so that you do not have to do it.

If your pharmacy doesn’t stock the product you want, have them order it for you...

He picked the bracelet up for me.



If you feel a particular emotion for someone, you feel it on their behalf.

This is the best thing you’ve ever done–I am so happy for you!...

He felt a great sadness for this little girl.

PREP : adj / n PREP


If you feel a particular emotion for someone or something, they are the object of that emotion, and you feel it when you think about them.

John, I’m sorry for Steve, but I think you’ve made the right decisions...

Mack felt a pitiless contempt for her.

PREP : adj / n PREP


You use for after words such as ‘time’, ‘space’, ‘money’, or ‘energy’ when you say how much there is or whether there is enough of it in order to be able to do or use a particular thing.

Many new trains have space for wheelchair users...

It would take three to six hours for a round trip...

Chris couldn’t even raise the energy for a smile.



If something is for sale, hire, or use, it is available to be sold, hired, or used.

...fishmongers displaying freshwater fish for sale...

...a room for rent.

...a comfortable chair, suitable for use in the living room.



You use for when you state or explain the purpose of an object, action, or activity.

...drug users who use unsterile equipment for injections of drugs...

The knife for cutting sausage was sitting in the sink.

...economic aid for the future reconstruction of the country.

PREP : PREP n / -ing


You use for after nouns expressing reason or cause.

He’s soon to make a speech in parliament explaining his reasons for going...

The county hospital could find no physical cause for Sumner’s problems...

He has now been formally given the grounds for his arrest.

PREP : n PREP n / -ing


For is used in conditional sentences, in expressions such as ‘ if not for ’ and ‘ were it not for ’, to introduce the only thing which prevents the main part of the sentence from being true.

If not for John, Brian wouldn’t have learned the truth...

The earth would be a frozen ball if it were not for the radiant heat of the sun...

She might have forgotten her completely had it not been for recurrent nightmares.



You use for to say how long something lasts or continues.

The toaster remained on for more than an hour...

For a few minutes she sat on her bed watching the clock...

They talked for a bit.

PREP : PREP amount


You use for to say how far something extends.

We drove on for a few miles...

Great clouds of black smoke were rising for several hundred feet or so.

PREP : PREP amount


If something is bought, sold, or done for a particular amount of money, that amount of money is its price.

We got the bus back to Tange for 30 cents...

The Martins sold their house for about 1.4 million pounds...

The doctor was prepared to do the operation for a large sum.

PREP : PREP amount


If something is planned for a particular time, it is planned to happen then.

...the Welsh Boat Show, planned for July 30–August 1...

Marks & Spencer will be unveiling its latest fashions for autumn and winter...



If you do something for a particular occasion, you do it on that occasion or to celebrate that occasion.

He asked his daughter what she would like for her birthday...

I’ll be home for Christmas.



If you leave for a particular place or if you take a bus, train, plane, or boat for a place, you are going there.

They would be leaving for Rio early the next morning.



You use for when you make a statement about something in order to say how it affects or relates to someone, or what their attitude to it is.

What matters for most scientists is money and facilities...

For her, books were as necessary to life as bread...

It would be excellent experience for him to travel a little.



After some adjective, noun, and verb phrases, you use for to introduce the subject of the action indicated by the following infinitive verb.

It might be possible for a single woman to be accepted as a foster parent...

I had made arrangements for my affairs to be dealt with by one of my children...

He held out his glass for an old waiter to refill.

PREP : PREP n to-inf


You use for when you say that an aspect of something or someone is surprising in relation to other aspects of them.

He was tall for an eight-year-old...

He had too much money for a young man.



If you say that you are for a particular activity, you mean that this is what you want or intend to do.

Right, who’s for a toasted sandwich then?...

‘What’ll it be?’ Paul said.—‘I’m for halibut.’

PREP : v-link PREP n / -ing


If you say that something is not for you, you mean that you do not enjoy it or that it is not suitable for you. ( INFORMAL )

Wendy decided the sport was not for her...

PREP : with neg


If it is for you to do something, it is your responsibility or right to do it.

I wish you would come back to Washington with us, but that’s for you to decide...

It is not for me to arrange such matters.

PREP : PREP n to-inf


If you are for something, you agree with it or support it.

Are you for or against public transport?...

I’m for a government that the people respect and that respects the people...

≠ against

PREP : v-link PREP n / -ing


You use for after words such as ‘argue’, ‘case’, ‘evidence’, or ‘vote’ in order to introduce the thing that is being supported or proved.

Another union has voted for industrial action in support of a pay claim...

The case for nuclear power is impressive...

We have no real, objective, scientific evidence for our belief.

≠ against

PREP : n / v PREP n

For is also an adverb.

833 delegates voted for, and only 432 against.

ADV : ADV after v


For is the preposition that is used after some nouns, adjectives, or verbs in order to introduce more information or to indicate what a quality, thing, or action relates to.

Reduced-calorie cheese is a great substitute for cream cheese...

Car park owners should be legally responsible for protecting vehicles...

Be prepared for both warm and cool weather...

Make sure you have ample time to prepare for the new day ahead...

PREP : n / adj / v PREP n / -ing


To be named for someone means to be given the same name as them. ( AM; in BRIT, use after )

The Brady Bill is named for former White House Press Secretary James Brady...



You use for with ‘every’ when you are stating a ratio, to introduce one of the things in the ratio.

For every farm job that is lost, two or three other jobs in the area are put at risk...

Where there had been one divorce for every 100 marriages before the war, now there were five.



You can use for in expressions such as pound for pound or mile for mile when you are making comparisons between the values or qualities of different things.

...the Antarctic, mile for mile one of the planet’s most lifeless areas...

He insists any tax cut be matched dollar-for-dollar with cuts in spending.



If a word or expression has the same meaning as another word or expression, you can say that the first one is another word or expression for the second one.

The technical term for sunburn is erythema...



You use for in a piece of writing when you mention information which will be found somewhere else.

For further information on the life of William James Sidis, see Amy Wallace, ‘The Prodigy’.



If you say that you are all for doing something, you agree or strongly believe that it should be done, but you are also often suggesting that other people disagree with you or that there are practical difficulties.

He is all for players earning what they can while they are in the game...

I was all for it, but Wolfe said no.

PHRASE : v-link PHR , PHR -ing / n


If you are in for it or, in British English, if you are for it , you are likely to get into trouble because of something you have done. ( INFORMAL )

PHRASE : V inflects


You use expressions such as for the first time and for the last time when you are talking about how often something has happened before.

He was married for the second time, this time to a Belgian...

For the first time in my career, I was failing.

PHRASE : PHR with cl


as for: see as

but for: see but

for all: see all

Collins COBUILD Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Английский словарь Коллинз COBUILD для изучающих язык на продвинутом уровне.