I am learning English to get a better job. No. I am learning English for get a better job. No. To? For? Which one is it? Let’s find out.
What’s up guys? My name is Shane and today we are talking about and to and for. To and for are actually quite easy to use once you understand the feeling and the meaning behind the words.
For example, normally, not always but normally, with the word to it’s talking about some kind of movement.
For example, something started here and then it finished here.
For example, I went to the bank. I started here, at my house and I finished at the bank. I went to the bank.
And with for, normally when I hear that word, the feeling behind it, the meaning behind it, not always, but normally, its talking about a reason or doing something to help someone.
For example, why did you do it? I did it for him. This means the reason that you did it is him.
But don’t worry if this sounds a little bit confusing because by the end of the lesson, you will understand the meaning of to and for and when and how to use it. And make sure you watch until the very end of the video because we will have a quiz to test your understanding. Okay, let’s get started.
Now remember I said in the intro that normally, the feeling of the word to is for movement. So this is the first use of to. We can use it to talk about movement.
For example: we are going to Paris. We are starting here and then we are finishing here, in Paris. We are going to Paris.
Another example could be: we went to the shops. We went to the shops.
Where did we start? We started here and then we finished here. We started at my house and we finished at the shops. We went to the shops.
So when you think of to, try and get the feeling of movement. Something is moving. It can be physical, like something that you can touch or it can be nonphysical something that you can’t touch.
For example, I am recording this video on a camera right now. And when I finish, I want to transfer the data from the camera to the computer.
The video is starting at the camera and it’s finishing at the computer. It’s moving.
So when you think of to, normally, not always, but normally it’s about movement.
We also use to when we’re talking about time. For example, what time is it? It’s ten to three.
This means it’s 2:50 now. It’s starting at 2:50 here but then it will move to 3 o’clock. So it’s still talking about movement again. It’s starting at one place and then finishing at another.
Or we can use it to talk about a period of time.
For example, I work from Monday to Friday. It’s still talking about movement because you start and Monday, right? And then you finish at Friday. The time is moving from Monday to Friday.
And another example could be: I work from 9am to 5pm. You start at 9am and then the clock moves all the way to 5pm.
We also use to when talking about distance. For example, it’s 5 kilometers from my house to the school. So this is still talking a little bit about movement again. From here to the school – it’s 5 kilometers.
Another example could be how far is it from Australia to America. Again, we are talking about movement. How far is it from here, if you move from here to here?
To can also be used when talking about giving. For example, I gave my phone to my friend.
Where did my phone start? Here with me. And where did it finish? Over here with my friend. It started here and moved. It ended up with my friend.
Another example could be: is he going to give it to his friend? So where is it starting? With him or with his friend? It’s starting with him. Starts here and then if he does it, it will go and end up with his friend. Starts here with him and moves to his friend.
So just remember, the main use of to is to talk about movement. It can be physical, something you can touch or nonphysical, something you can’t touch. And if you really feel that, you will know when to use to because you are talking about movement.
What about this sentence? I came here to see you. I came here to see you.
Why do we use to here? We’re not really talking about any movement. We are talking about a reason.
What is your reason for coming here? Because I wanted to see you.
So we can also use to talk about reasons but note here, I came here to see you.
What do we have after to? We have a present tense verb. I came here to see you. I came here to meet you.
Please don’t say I came here to meeting. I came here to seeing. We normally use to with a present tense verb.
Let’s look at another example. I’m going there to find a new job. I’m going there to find a new job.
Why are you going there? What’s your reason? Your reason is finding a new job, right? So that’s why we use to because we are talking about a reason.
And also note we have a present tense verb after to. I am going there to find. Not to finding but to find.
And the last main use of to is for comparing. I prefer tea to coffee.
Which do I like more? Tea or coffee? I like tea more.
What about this one? I am comparing cats to dogs. I am comparing cats to dogs.
What am I doing? I am talking about dogs and I am talking about cats. Maybe I am talking about their differences, their good things, their bad things.
So just remember, another use of to can be used to talk about comparing things.
Now let’s talk about for. Remember, in the intro I said that normally, not always, but normally for is used to talk about a reason.
So this is the first use of for: when we talk about reasons.
For example, let’s go to the park for lunch. Let’s go to the park for lunch. Why are we going to the park? What is the reason? The reason is lunch. The reason is eating, right?
But note here, after for is it a verb? A present tense verb like with to? No, it’s a noun. Normally, when we’re using for to talk about reasons, we have a noun after for. For lunch. For coffee. For tea. Lunch. Coffee. Tea. These are all nouns.
Another example could be: I work for money. I work for money. What is your reason for working? The reason is money.
And note here, again, after for we have a noun. We have money. So just remember, one of the main uses of for is to talk about reasons. But normally we use a noun after for, not a present tense verb.
Eating vegetables is good for you.
What am I talking about here? Am I talking about a good thing or a bad thing? I am talking about a benefit.
So this is the second use of for. We can use it to talk about benefits.
Eating vegetables is good for you. It’s a benefit.
Another example could be: walking is great for your legs. Walking is great for your legs.
So am I saying walking is a good thing or a bad thing? I am saying it’s a good thing, there is a benefit for your legs.
So just remember, you can also use for when you are talking about benefits and good things.
I have lived here for five years. I have lived here for five years.
What am I talking about here? I am talking about a period of time, right? 5 years. So this is another use of for.
We can use it to talk about a period of time. 5 years. 2 years. 1 year. 1 week. 1 day.
Note how after for, we say a period of time, we don’t say a date or a year. For example, I have lived here for 2020. No, this is not correct. Or I have lived here for I was a child, no this is not correct.
Normally after for we have a period of time.
Another example could be: I have been on YouTube for 3 months.
And note again how after for, we have a time period. 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, 1 day, 1 week.
He is carrying the books for her. He is carrying the books for her.
Why is he carrying the books? He is carrying them to help her.
So this is another use of for. We can use it when someone is doing something to help someone.
It’s actually very similar with the first use of for, to talk about reasons, right?
Another example could be I really appreciate you doing that for me. I really appreciate you doing that for me. This means someone did something for the purpose of helping you. They wanted to help you.
So just remember, we can also use for when we’re talking about when someone does something to help you.
A chair is used for sitting. A chair is used for sitting.
Why are we using for here? What are we talking about? We are talking about the reason that we have chairs. The function of chairs. Why do we have chairs? For sitting.
And another use of for that’s not very common in daily conversation is: are you for it? Are you for it?
This means do you support it? Are you okay with it? Are you happy with it?
Another example could be: are you for learning English through reading or through speaking? What do you agree with? What are you supporting? Which method are you supporting?
And another less common use of the word for is to talk about making appointments, scheduling appointments.
So for example you could say I made an appointment for the 10th of July or I made an appointment for 9am on Monday.
Or if you wanted to ask a question, you could say when would you like to make the appointment for?
Okay so we have learned about to and for. So now it’s time to have a little quiz to test your understanding. I will say a sentence with a missing word and I want you to fill in the missing word with to or for and tell me why.
Question number 1. I am going ___ the shops. I am going ___ the shops. And the correct answer is: I am going to the shops. This one’s really easy because we are talking about movement. Movement from my house to the shops.
Number two. Bananas are really good ___ your digestion. . Bananas are really good ___ your digestion. And the correct answer is for. They are really good for your digestion. Why do we use for here? Because we are talking about a benefit, a good thing.
Number three. I want to transfer my videos from my camera ____ my phone. I want to transfer my videos from my camera ____ my phone. And the correct answer is: I want to transfer my videos from my camera to my phone. Why do we use to? Because again we are talking about movement. Movement from my camera to my phone.
Question number four. Let’s go to the library ___ read some books. Let’s go to the library ___ read some books. And the correct answer is let’s go to the library to read some books. Why? Because we are talking about a reason and we have a present simple verb. Remember if you want to use to with a reason, we need to have a present simple verb after it. To read. To eat. To watch.
And last question, question number give. Cameras are used ___ taking photos. Cameras are used ___ taking photos. And the correct answer is cameras are used for taking photos. Why? Because we’re talking about a function. Why do they exist? What do they do? We use them for taking photos.
And that is the end of the lesson today. If you’re interested in learning about more common confused words in English, check out this video right here. If you have any questions, please comment down below. If you haven’t subscribed already, make sure you subscribe right now so you don’t miss any videos that can help you understand English like a native speaker. If you learned something today, please hit like and please share this with your friends so they can really understanding the meaning and get the feeling for the words to and for in English.
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