Most Common English Words (no. 12)

The next word in the list is a preposition: “for“. Some of my students are confused about how to use it and it’s understandable because this word has a lot of usages.

First, it used to say “to be given to”. When used this way, the word after “for” should be the receiver of what is being given.

  • There’s a present for you under the Christmas tree.
  • There will be a prize for the best score in this quiz.

Next, “for” is used to mean “because of” or “as a result of” (doing something).

  • She was scolded for not doing her homework.
  • This restaurant is famous for their sushi.

For” is also used to mean “instead of” or “to help”.

  • Let me carry those books for you.
  • Will you take care of my dog for me when I go on my trip?

For” is also used to talk about the amount of time spent or distance covered.

  • I think I need to rest for an hour.
  • We walked for miles.

It is also used to say “at the time of”.

  • We’re planning a party for her birthday.
  • I’m getting you a bag for Christmas.

For” also means “in relation to someone/something”

  • This book is a little too easy for me.
  • I have a lot of respect for people who respect others.

It can also be used to mean “representing”.

  • I work for the UN.
  • She carried the flag for the US during Olympics.

Finally, “for, can also be used to mean “in order to get or have”.

  • We should wait for the next train.
  • Please call me for more information.

The next word is the first negative word on this list. Any ideas on what it could be?