Explanations » A2 Grammar Explanations » Expressing purpose with ‘to’ and ‘for’
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Expressing purpose with to and for

Grammar chart explaining the use of 'to' and 'for' for expressing purpose, with correct and incorrect example sentences.

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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.blank
  • I work hard to improve my English.blank
  • Turn the TV on for watching the news.blank
  • Turn the TV on to watch the news.blank

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.