Expressing purpose with to and for
We can use to + infinitive and for + noun to talk about the purpose of an action or the reason why we do something.
To + infinitive
- I went to the grocery store to buy some vegetables.
- I studied hard to pass the exam.
For + noun
- Let’s go to the pub for a drink.
- We climbed to the top for the views.
Compare to vs for
- I went to the shop to buy some milk.
- I went to the shop for some milk.
For + -ing
Don’t use for + -ing verb to talk about why we do something
We don’t use for + -ing verb to say what is the purpose of our actions, why we do something.
- I work hard for improving my English.
- I work hard to improve my English.
- Turn the TV on for watching the news.
- Turn the TV on to watch the news.
Use for + -ing verb to talk about the purpose or function of an object
We can use to + infinitive or for + ing verb to talk about the purpose or function of a thing, what an object is used for.
- This machine is used for cleaning cars.
- This machine is used to clean cars.
- This is a special camera for photographing small objects.
- This is a special camera to photograph small objects.