Of vs For in English Grammar
Since of and for are prepositions that are commonly interchanged by many, it is essential to know the difference between of and for in English grammar, if we are to use them accurately. Prepositions are always present and always used in a sentence. The words of and for are also two of the most commonly used prepositions. Of and for are used to signify a relationship between objects or subjects. Apart from being used as prepositions, there are a number of phrases that use of and for. Of comes from Old English. For also comes from Old English. Another interesting fact about for is that it is also used as a conjunction.
What does Of mean?
Of is a preposition that may mean relating to or pertaining to. It can also be used for distance, origin, and cause. It simply signifies a relationship between two objects. Look at the examples given below.
• There are a lot of children attending church choir today.
• I took a candid picture of you.
• Our dog died of cancer.
Now, have a look at the following sentences that are made using phrases that use of.
(Possess intrinsically; give rise to)
This journey is of great opportunity and experience.
(Denoting the least likely or expected example)
Sylvia, of all the girls, came to the wedding of her friend.
What does For mean?
For, on the other hand, means over a period such as hours, years and days. It also can be used as a preposition of distance and purpose. Examples of for as a preposition are given below.
• I have not seen my brother for 18 years now.
• I have walked for a couple of hours.
• Johnny went to the doctor for his checkup.
As a conjunction ‘for’ can be used in the following manner.
He rose early for he wanted to see his father coming home.
What is the difference between Of and For?
Of is a preposition that is used to mean pertains to, while for is a preposition of time. Both are commonly used as prepositions that link subjects or objects together in a sentence. Preposition of may be used for direction or distance; preposition for can be used for distance and purpose. Of can be used in a general or broader sense while for is specific. For example: “A president will die for his country.” This sentence is specific that the president will die to protect the country. “He died of cancer.” This sentence means that he died because of cancer, nothing specific.
Of vs For
• Of is a preposition of distance, origin, direction and cause while for is a preposition of time, distance and purpose.
• Of is used in a general or broader sense while for is specific.
Learning to use the words of and for in a sentence will really aid you in mastering the proper usage of prepositions. Although they are easy and very common, it is always an advantage to know what each means.