Apply TO or Apply FOR? – Learn with a QUIZ (2021)

One of my students asked me the difference between  Apply TO and Apply FOR. It’s a good question so I thought I would write a post for my blog readers. I hope it’s helpful! 😀 *NEW quiz at the bottom of this post

Apply TO – a location or a school
I applied to the University of Toronto. I hope I get accepted!
Apply FOR – a job/bank loan etc.
You should apply for a job at Starbucks. They are hiring now. 

The verb apply means – to make a formal request, usually in writing, for something such as a job, a loan, permission for something, a place at a university, etc.
LINK

Apply can be used with the prepositions TO and AT. I will explain the difference with some natural examples.

Apply TO or Apply FOR

Apply TO

We usually apply to a place we want to go (a school) or a place we would like to work 

Theresa applied to Google, but it’s very competitive. I hope she can get a job there.

I applied to the University of Toronto. I hope I get accepted!

Examples of APPLY TO with different verb tenses

TO APPLY (infinitive) “You need TO APPLY to a few different schools in case you don’t get accepted at your first choice.”
APPLY (present simple) “I APPLY to Law school every year.”
APPLIES  (present simple third-person singular) “Dennis APPLIES to Law school every year too.”
APPLIED (past simple) “We APPLIED to law school last year, but we weren’t accepted.””
“I APPLIED to work in Dubai this autumn, my company is opening a new office there.”
“I got accepted to Harvard! I APPLIED to 4 schools but Harvard is my first choice.”
WILL APPLY (future – just decided) “I think I WILL APPLY to McGill University in Quebec.”
GOING TO APPLY (future – planned activity) “I’m GOING TO APPLY to schools closer to my house.”
More future tense GRAMMAR
APPLYING (continuous) “Mike and Dennis are always APPLYING to law school. I hope they get accepted soon.”
APPLY is a regular verb. This means the past tense and the past participle both end with _ed.
APPLIED (past participle) “Dennis has APPLIED to law school every year for the past 4 years.” [Has APPLIED is perfect tense grammar]
More perfect tense GRAMMAR

Apply FOR

We usually apply for a thing we want to get.
Apply for a job/bank loan etc.

I’m going to apply for a credit card today.

Examples of APPLY FOR with different verb tenses

TO APPLY (infinitive) “When I first came to Japan I had to APPLY for a visa so I could stay in the country for more than 3 months.”
APPLY (present simple) “I APPLY for a few different jobs every summer. I like to have a choice between a few possibilities.”
APPLIES  (present simple third-person singular) “My sister APPLIES for different summer jobs too. It’s good to have choices”
APPLIED (past simple) “I APPLIED for a manager job at my company’s new office in Dubai.”
WILL APPLY (future – just decided) “I think I WILL APPLY for the new sales job when Albert retires next month.”
GOING TO APPLY (future – planned activity) “I heard many people are GOING TO APPLY for that job. Good luck.”
APPLYING (continuous) “I just graduated last month. Now I’m APPLYING for jobs in some local companies.”
APPLY is a regular verb. This means the past tense and the past participle both end with _ed.
APPLIED (past participle) “4 people have already APPLIED for the new sales job. You should apply today if you want a chance.” [Have APPLIED is perfect tense grammar]
Apply TO or Apply FOR
Applying - gerund

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Applying as a noun

Apply also has a gerund form – applying.
A gerund is the continuous form of the verb, used as a noun.

Steve: What’s your plan after graduation?
Allen: First I will travel, then when I get back home I will start applying for jobs.

*In this sentence applying is a noun (gerund). It follows the verb will start

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