To y for

Puede resultar algo difícil y parecer demasiado complicado distinguir entre estas dos palabras, pero hay reglas que determinan cuál debemos usar en cada caso. Abajo, examinaremos las reglas que determinan qué preposición, to y for, es la correcta.

For: el propósito de alguien

Se usa ‘for’ para hablar sobre el propósito de alguien, pero únicamente cuando la cosa es un nombre. No puede ser otra cosa.

  • This space is for meetings.
  • I had to see my colleague for a coffee.
  • My laptop is for Skype sessions.
  • I’m going to see my teacher for extra classes.
  • Want to meet me out the bar for a drink?

For: se emplea antes de un gerundio (verbo + –ing) para expresar el propósito de una una cosa, o más específicamente, su uso

  • Computers can be used for surfing the internet.
  • Books are for improving your knowledge and personal enjoyment.
  • The room is for meeting and celebrating.
  • Calculators are for adding numbers up.

To: se usa para expresar el propósito de una entidad (persona, animal, empresa etc.)

Por ejemplo, la entidad es el sujeto (NO una cosa), debemos usar ‘to + infinitivo’, y NO ‘for’.

  • I need to go to the school to finish my work.
  • Daniel used his smartphone to take pictures of us while we were on vacation.
  • We have to go on vacation to get some rest.
  • I’m going to a restaurant to meet a colleague.
  • We met at the cafeteria to catch up.
  • Please, use the gloves to do the dishes, and not to play with. 
    *¿Ves que el sujeto en azul es una persona, no una cosa? Por eso, usamos ‘to + infinitivo’ y NO ‘for’.

For: causa e efecto

Se usa ‘for + gerundio’ (verbo + –ing) después de una descripción de una reacción positiva o negativa para explicar el comportamiento que la causó. Aunque el sujeto pueda ser una entidad (persona, animal, empresa etc., utilizamos ‘for’ y NO ‘to’.

  • She was surprised by her friend for arriving so early.
  • The child was punished for being a brat.
  • I’m angry at you for hurting my feelings.
  • We’re very grateful to you for being a great person.
  • Ana was annoyed at me for eating her lunch.
  • Michael was told to leave the classroom for swearing.

Por lo tanto, es incorrecto decir lo siguiente

  • She was surprised by her friend to arriving so early.
  • The child was punished to being a brat.
  • I’m angry at you to hurting my feelings.
  • We’re very grateful to you to being a great person.
  • Ana was annoyed at me to eating her lunch.
  • Michael was told to leave the classroom to swearing.

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