Using to and for

The preposition to has many uses.

To can mean towards or in the direction of.

  • We went to the market.
  • Let’s walk to the station.
  • The apple fell to the ground.

To can also mean ‘towards a condition, quality’ etc.

  • The boy went to sleep.

The preposition to is used to introduce the indirect object in structures where the direct object comes before the indirect object.

  • Give it to her.
  • I wrote a letter to him.

To can also mean ‘towards the end of a time’ or ‘the end of a period of time’ etc.

  • ‘Can you tell me the time?’ ‘Yes, it is a quarter to two.’
  • We stayed to the end of the play.

To can be used to indicate a comparison.

  • I prefer walking to driving.
  • They won by four goals to two.


The preposition for can be used to indicate destination or progress.

  • I caught the last train for London.
  • They are sailing for home.
  • The time is getting on for six o’clock. (= The time is advancing towards six o’clock.)

For can be used with too. This structure has a similar meaning to too…to…

  • She is too good for such a man. (= She is too good to be his wife.)

For can also be used with enough.

  • This soil is good enough for growing cotton.

For can also mean in view of.

  • That is good work for a beginner. (= That is good work in view of the fact that it was done by a beginner.)
  • He is healthy for his age.