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Is there a difference between "convenient for you" and "convenient to you"? And if it is, could you explain it?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

As well as the most common sense of convenient (i.e. suiting you, not causing you time or trouble), there is the related sense of close, near-by, as in "We stopped at a convenient gas-station" or "He picked up a convenient rock". While the phrase convenient for you is much the more common of the two, it could be that convenient to you is more likely to be used with this second sense.

Here are some examples from a quick search:

  • Call the office most convenient to you.
  • Choose a venue convenient to you.
  • Kindly select a branch convenient to you.
  • Visit our contact page to find a location that is convenient to you.
  • Find a kitchen centre most convenient to you.
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Great! Thank you! Very clear explanation. –  Anton Moiseev Jan 29 '12 at 13:55
    
I dispute that "for you" is more common. This appears to be true when comparing the two three-word phrases on NGram, but that will include irrelevant things like "It will be convenient for you to [do something]", where there's an implied "convenient to us". But "a time convenient to you" is more common than "a time convenient for you", and I don't think there will be many "false positives" with that wording –  FumbleFingers Jan 29 '12 at 16:41
    
The impersonal expression it is convenient for you is 10 times more common (151,000) in Bing than it is convenient to you (15,000). The corresponding negative expressions have similar proportions: for - 4,000 as against to - a mere 13. However, when convenient is preceded by a noun, the reverse seems to be the case, although the numbers are much closer together. Location, date, time + convenient + to are more common than the same expressions with for. So in general it seems that to is much more likely with convenient following a noun than in an impersonal expression. –  Shoe Jan 29 '12 at 17:10
    
Interestingly, though, a place convenient for you is 4 times more common than a place convenient to you. –  Shoe Jan 29 '12 at 17:12

While Answer 1 is the correct choice when the word "convenient' is related to location, using the word to doesn't apply as absolutely when the meeting's time is under negotiation.

To illustrate:

It works to say "convenient to you," when you're suggesting that a location can be reached with little effort, like "near to you" or "next to you." This ruling is reinforced by the impossibility of saying "near for you" or "next for you."

But if the matter of discussion is an activity where time is the dominant question it offers enhanced clarity to suggest that to someone that they join in at a time that is more "convenient for you," even though to is technically OK.

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