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He had always had a fond love of literature.

Love of something or love for something? What's the correct preposition to be used with love, in the above context?

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Love of permits a reversal of direction, love for, definitely not. –  Ben Voigt Apr 11 '11 at 23:32
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1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It's not an either-or situation. You can use either preposition.

Love of money is the root of all evil.

The Love for Three Oranges (opera by S. Prokofiev)

I have nothing but love for my children.

"For the love of God, why would you say such a thing!"

Note: "of" may be used to express that the object of the preposition is the thing that loves, as in the last example above. You could say something like "I would do anything for the love of a good woman," meaning that you want to get her love (as well as, presumably, to give it).

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In I have nothing but love for my children, for is the complement (is that the word?) of have, not of love, so that case is not like the others. Using of in that sentence instead would change the meaning from "what have for my children is nothing but love" to "I don't have any money or, well, anything else, except that I have love of my children". –  msh210 Apr 11 '11 at 17:23
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