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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Grammar: Is For similar to Because? (The preposition and conjunction "For")

Ø FOR is a preposition but it is also used as a conjunction.
Ø Students wrongly assume that FOR can be used as a substitute for BECAUSE 
FOR is also used as a conjunction similar to BECAUSE but FOR as a conjunction has very specific uses and it should not be regarded as entirely similar to BECAUSE.

Ø Compare: 
I went to the supermarket BECAUSE I wanted to buy some groceries (Correct)
Explanations:  The reason you went to the supermarket is because you want to buy groceries.

I went to the supermarket FOR I wanted to buy some groceries (Understandable but faulty)
Explanations: Because you use FOR, this means that you are writing in a literary style and you are also emphasizing on the importance of the situation.

Ø It says in the Bible:“For God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son.”Explanations:  First, the Bible is written in a literary and formal style; second, God giving his only son to die for the world is quite serious compared to going to the supermarket to buy groceries. 

Ø Therefore, even though FOR is similar to BECAUSE, do not use FOR as a substitute for BECAUSE. If you do, your sentence may be grammatically correct but it shows that you are a terrible writer. 

Ø Definition of FOR in Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
FOR as  BECAUSE is used 
to introduce a statement that explains why a preceding statement is true.They were certainly there, for I saw them. (If you noticed, there is a comma [,] before FOR. Oxford Dictionary also provided a similar sentence format)He felt guilty, for he knew that he bore a share of responsibility for Fanny's death. (From Oxford Dictionary)

 Ø Thus, use FOR as because for the following reasons only
1. You are writing in a literary style. 
2. You are emphasizing on the seriousness of the situation
3. If you do want to use FOR as because, put a comma before it. 

 Ø Do not also use FOR as a transition marker similar to
Relating to,                     
With reference to,                      
In relation to,                  
Pertaining to,
With regard to,               
As regards to,                 
In connection with,
A propos,                                    

With regard to product durability, Samsung is ahead of its competition.
For product durability, Samsung is ahead of its competition.

For detailed specific uses of the preposition FOR, you can visit
Ø Merriam-Webster Website: or
Ø Oxford dictionary Website:

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