Chocolate Grammarchips (#4)


    face5One of our readers asked us how to use the prepositions to and for.

      To and for are really very nice words once you learn a simple rule that will work in most cases: 



… that shows the relationship between words in a sentence.

Going TO the garden...


TO shows action or direction toward something: from one place to another, or from one person (or thing) to another.

… FOR something to eat.


FOR shows the purpose of an action or object of an action.


     PointKey Here’s a simple rule:

     1. TO shows action or direction toward something or someone.     

     2. FOR shows the purpose  ...  or the object of the action.


 ??????????    Quick!  Some examples!

     1.) I went to the store and bought milk. [I can go to the barn and milk the cow, but I am telling you that I went to the store.]

     2.) I went to the store for milk. [I can go to a store for pizza, potatoes, or looking for a princess. But I went for the purpose of buying milk.]

     3.)gave a red ripe strawberry to a chipmunk.

 [Giving the chipmunk a strawberry was very nice of me but, even more, it was an action I took.]

     4.)have a red ripe strawberry for the chipmunk. [I’m telling you my purpose for having the red ripe strawberry: it is for the chipmunk and not for you. I’m sorry.]

     5.) The bear goes to my garden [action] looking for food [object].


1. I went to the store this morning.
2. A smile can turn sorrow to joy.
3. I promise I will be kind to you.

*FOR MEANS PURPOSE, or OBJECT of an action.

1. I am singing this song for you.
2. I am training for the Olympics.
3. I jumped for joy.



When to use TO

          1.  Action: 
I am going to the store.
          2. Distance: 
From my house to the store is 321 giant steps.
          3. Comparisons: 
I prefer reading to watching movies.
          4. Giving: 
I gave the strawberry to the chipmunk.
Direction: We’re going to Timbuktu on Tuesday.

When to use FOR

         1. Benefit: 
Studying grammar is good for your health.
         2. Period of time: 
We’ve lived at the North Pole for two years.
         3. Schedule: 
I made an appointment for April 1st to meet President Lincoln.
         4. Agreement: 
Are you for or against increasing the pay of teachers?
         5. Purpose: I went to the store for some candy.
         6. Function: 
A tea cup is for drinking tea.

 ©InterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us: