TO vs. FOR (a very simple explanation)

31 May

TO vs. FOR (a very simple explanation)

This is an explanation designed for Brazilian students.

TO is used with verbs as you all know (e.g. the verb “to be”).

It is also used in cases where a “transfer” happens.


I will give this book to you. (from me to you) 
I will go to work. (from home to work)
I will talk to her. (information goes from me to her)

FOR is used in the following situations:

for the benefit of

e.g. I will do that for you.


e.g. This brush is for painting.

Those aren’t rules written in stone, they are just general guidelines to help ESL students (especially Portuguese speakers) better grasp this concept.

Here is an example with both:

Give this book to him but it is for his father.


I will speak to her for you.

Brazilians often ask me why this is so difficult foir them. The answer: Because both to and for are the same word in Portuguese: para

If you have any doubts ask them here. An English teacher will be happy to answer them.


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