English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Consider the following sentences:

  • An empty box will do for a table.
  • The box will do fine as a table.

One uses for, the other as. Are the two interchangeable? Can the for be replaced with an as without affecting the meaning?

share|improve this question
'will do' just means 'serves the purpose' -- the preposition depends on the rest of the sentence. Note that 'for' here implies 'to function as'. – Kris Dec 19 '12 at 6:52

Either one will do for/as a preposition in this context.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.