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Which one is correct, "best wishes to you" or "best wishes for you"?

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Typically in such a greeting, the addressee follows to and the occasion follows for or on. 'Best Wishes to the Bride & Groom'; 'Best Wishes for the New Year'. – Kris Dec 26 '11 at 11:03
I asked a related question recently: english.stackexchange.com/questions/93272/… – Ben Lee Feb 22 '13 at 20:27
up vote 16 down vote accepted

They have slightly different meanings.

Best wishes to you

means I am sending you my best wishes, while

Best wishes for you

means I have best wishes in my heart for you.

The first form is the standard in letters and cards, for example.

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@Amirouche -- I agree with this one; they technically mean different things, but they serve the same purpose. – BeemerGuy Jan 1 '11 at 17:59

Best wishes to you is correct. I've never heard a native English speaker say "best wishes for you", and there are no examples of "best wishes for you" in the British National Corpus.

"Best wishes for 2011" or "best wishes for the new year" are fine. For more examples, see Google or the British National Corpus.

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+1 Thank's for your response, I want just tell you that one times I have helped using google I was downvoted :( english.stackexchange.com/questions/4419/… – Amirouche Douda Jan 1 '11 at 20:39
@Jasper: yes, good point. +1. – Antony Quinn Jan 7 '11 at 20:17

Best wishes to you

- is the more usual construction of the two.

You can wish for something (using wish as a verb) or you can send a wish to someone (using wish as a noun). Combining these constructions is an error.

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  • ".. best wishes to you..."
  • "best wishes for your..."

In the first instance, towards is the connotation that to is meant to take. (It so happens also to be an annotated meaning.)

In the second, for has no connoted sense of directionality but, instead, connotes application or bestowal--hence the change to possessive of "your..."

In one instance "wishes" extend towards the second person; in the second to something possessed or conferred by the second person.

Word meaning, not grammar, is the more fitting tag. Possibly syntax as well.

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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 26 '11 at 21:18

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