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introduces a complement of interest


-Who did you buy it for? -I bought it for her.

  • For many people, the financial crisis of 2008 was truly a shock.

goal / end

  • We headed for home. // We're headed for a rude awakening.
  • They made off for the woods.
  • We're hoping for the best.
  • I don't want for them to come. ("for" is dialectal, but widespread)

What should I get her for her birthday?


  • What would you use it for?
  • What did you do that for?
  • Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?

Introduces agent in Infinitivals

  • It's unusual for her to complain // For her to complain is unusual.


similar syntactically and semantically to car, and semantically similar to puisque (subordinating conjunction)

Its use alone as a conjunction (not found before 12c.) probably is a shortening of common Old English phrases such as for þon þy "therefore," literally "for the (reason) that.

-Online Etymology dictionary [1]</i>
  • Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
  • Romeo, Romeo wherefore art thou Romeo?


  • To stand for (1). I won't stand for it! (I won't put up with it.)
  • To stand for (2).

Derived words

for and fore adverb were differentiated in Middle English

aforementioned before therefore wherefore

unrelated prefix

for- from Germanic vor- (privative)