Learn the meaning of and use the English preposition FOR like a native speaker!
According to Englishclub.com for is the fourth most commonly used preposition.
Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary lists 20 uses for the preposition FOR.
In this post / video I’ll teach you 4 ways we use this preposition with lots of natural example sentences, that are very common and easy to remember. Some example sentences are basic and others are more advanced. This post can be helpful for any level, and it can help you get to your next level.
Using this preposition correctly will increase your conversation ability and your confidence to talk with native speakers.
FOR has many uses as a preposition!
Let’s start with one of the more common.
1. We wait for something…
We can wait for somebody or something:
Carl’s waiting for his friend, he should be here soon.
The cafe is busy today! I have to wait for a seat.
They finally built a new bus shelter on Queen Street. Now I don’t have to get wet waiting for the bus in the rain.
We can wait for something to happen:
Wait for the light to change before you cross the street.
I want to go to lunch, but I’m waiting for a phone call from my customer.
Jill bought a new iPhone, I’m waiting for the price to go down before I get one.
2. To look for something means to search or try to find something
Aaron is looking for a black sport coat, size 40 regular.
I can’t find my earring! Can you help me look for it?
All my friends from university are still looking for a job, I’m lucky to be working.
3. For can be used to show purpose or function
Let’s go for a walk! (The purpose of going out is to take a walk)
Are you learning English for pleasure or for work? (What’s the purpose of your English study?)
What did you do that for? = Why did you do that?
Wadjya do that for?
In natural spoken English the phrase “What did you” becomes “Wadjya” when spoken at native speed.
4. We use for to show a reason or a cause
The town is famous for its cathedral. (The reason it’s famous is the cathedral)
She gave me a bag for my birthday. ( The reason she gave me the bag is because it was my birthday)
He got an award for bravery. (He got the award because he’s brave)
BONUS – Here’s a 5th way we can use the preposition FOR.
5. We can also use for – to receive something
Call this number for more information. (To receive more information)
Thanks Roger, I can always count on you for help.
(I can depend on your help, I can always receive your help)
You can find an English preposition list on sites like Wikipedia, but lists are not as helpful as listening to natural preposition sentences, with real preposition usage and common preposition examples. Use the video at the top of this page for listening practice, and use the time after you hear the sentence to repeat it and practice your speaking and pronunciation!
Sites I used to help with this blog post: