English Quick SHOT – FREE or FOR FREE?

English quick shot

According to https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com one meaning for the adjective free is – costing nothing

Sentences with free can look like this:

Something is free

My coffee was free.

Or we can do something for free

I can watch for free online.

Maybe you can guess the grammar already.

A noun is free

These baseball tickets were free!

We verb for free

We can watch the game for free.

*If we get something (a noun) we can say for free because get is a verb.

I got these shoes for free!

Alex works at the theater so he gets tickets for free.


I received a comment from Warsaw Will that pointed out that…

…after a verb, the adverb “free” is just fine without “for.”
You can eat free in my restaurant whenever you like.

This is a natural example of a verb (eat) followed by the adverb free without the preposition for.
I wanted to make a simple example that ESL students could understand but I shouldn’t have said that…

…we need to say for free because get is a verb.

This is not true. For me personally using FOR FREE with a verb is natural, but we don’t have to. The example below is also perfectly acceptable.

I got these shoes free!

Thanks again to Warsaw Will for the constructive feedback on my post. You can see his English blog @ http://random-idea-english.blogspot.com/

Free @ oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com


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4 thoughts on “English Quick SHOT – FREE or FOR FREE?”

  1. I’m afraid I don’t quite agree. Yes, after a noun we use the adjective “free”. But after a verb, the adverb “free” is just fine without “for”. In fact the use of “for” is relatively recent, and when I was young was often considered “wrong”.But I don’t think the fact that this idiomatic use is now unobjectionable makes it a rule.

    From Michael Swan’s Practical English Usage:
    “The adverb “free” (used after a verb) means “without payment” :
    ‘You can eat free in my restaurant whenever you like”

    In Google, numbers are pretty even, with or without “for”, the latter including American instances.

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