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When we say “for one” in a sentence, what does it mean?

I heard a sentence in a TV program where Robin Hood said:

Who will bear this injustice? I, for one, will not.

As I understand it, “I for one” means "at least I will not" or "even if others do I will not".

Does “for one” have the same figurative meaning in all the sentences in which it is used. I found that "for one" when used with "I" has different meaning than that it does have when not used with "I", e.g. here it is used as "for one thing".

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  • Have you checked 1. A dictionary? 2. Google Search? 3. English Language Learners ? 4. Elsewhere, by way of your background effort?
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2013 at 8:22
  • From where do you "understand "I for one" means for a single person"? In English as in other languages, there are idioms and set phrases. Some times a group of words can mean something quite from what the words themselves stand for.
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2013 at 8:24
  • @Kris i searched on google and find a good explanation [here][1]. "For one" is used for "for one thing". thats why i asked "Is "for one" has the same figurative meaning in all the sentences in which it is used?". [1]:public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/forone.html
    – user31782
    Dec 8, 2013 at 11:38
  • Good find. In the present case, the reference is to Who. "Who will bear this injustice?" "Not I." ("I am one of those who will not.") -- The implication in such use generally is like: "As far as I am concerned, (As for me,) I will not bear the injustice (not to mention about the others)."
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2013 at 13:05
  • If you found a reference, you can answer your own question using it to explain the point, and earn reputation!
    – Kris
    Dec 8, 2013 at 13:07

4 Answers 4

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According to the OED:

for one used to stress that the person named holds the specified view, even if no one else does: I for one am getting a little sick of writing about it.

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Unless it was a rhetorical reply to an earlier query (which the context given by you doesn't disambiguate), by including himself at the top of the dissenters' list, Robin Hood is urging others join him. In effect, Robin Hood is saying:

I can't take this lying down. Who else is with me?

For one is used when there are a number of imponderables which the speaker either can't (or doesn't wish to) enumerate in detail.

There are a number of reasons why we'd be better off seeking forgiveness rather than permission. For one, it is easier.

In this use case, the implication is that there are many more reasons which, if the speaker is dared to, can and will enumerate as required to convince his audience.

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It refers to the position of an individual (or possibly a group), usually sharing the opinion presented. Some people enjoy walking naked in the rain. I, for one, certainly do.

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I, for one, believe it to mean that I am speaking only for myself. It's a lot like saying YMMV. It can also refer to a single other person - "The President, for one, supports the proposal." But that use is not nearly as common.

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  • 2
    What does YMMV mean?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 8, 2013 at 7:55
  • Your Mileage May Vary - It's one of those chat-room acronyms that manage to convey a lot of meaning quickly. Dec 8, 2013 at 8:02
  • Ahh, thank you. I've not heard of that expression either, but at least it's comprehensible. :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Dec 8, 2013 at 8:07

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