Purpose with for + verb-ing and to + infinitive

Download this explanation in PDF here.

For + verb-ing
We use 'for + verb-ing' to talk about the function of an object. It's used when we want to explain what something is generally used for or what its purpose is. We DON'T use 'for + infinitive'.

When the subject of the sentence is a person, and we are talking about the function of an object, it's also possible to use 'to + infinitive', as well as 'for + verb-ing'. To + infinitive
When we want to talk about someone's intention or goal, about why they are doing something, we need to use 'to + infinitive'. In this case, the subject of the sentence is a person. For + noun
We can also use 'for' with a noun (NOT with verb-ing) to talk about someone's intentions or goals. In order to
We can use 'in order to' or 'so as to' instead of 'to + infinitive'. This just makes it a bit clearer that we are talking about goals or intentions and it's also a bit more formal. It doesn't change the meaning. Verb patterns
Some verbs (or adjectives or nouns) need 'to + infinitive' or 'for + verb-ing' as part of their patterns. This is different from the uses I've talked about above, because here we are not always talking about purpose. 'To + infinitive' and 'for + verb-ing' don't have a special meaning when they are part of a verb pattern. It's just that this construction always follows this verb or adjective. These are some examples, but there are many more. Try an exercise about using 'for + verb-ing' and 'to + infinitive' here.

Would you like more Perfect English Grammar?

1: Sign up for my free email newsletter and get my free ebook '10 Really, Really Useful Phrasal Verbs'.
Sign up for my free newsletter here!

Email Address

First Name

Then

2: Buy my book!

'A' and 'The' Explained