Say I am a die-hard communist (I am NOT!) and I want to grudgingly admit that there's this one thing capitalists are right about. I believe I could say something like "now that's one for Adam Smith" or "...one to Adam Smith," but for the life of me I can't remember which one.

Or perhaps I'm wrong and none of those is the correct usage, in which case I'd like to know what the appropriate expression is.

  • 2
    Either preposition is fine. It's just an informal shortening of something like "Score one point to capitalism for that". But note that "That's one for Adam Smith" can also be used to mean "That's a question Adam Smith should answer". Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 13:00
  • Personally I think the question as posed is trivial, and shouldn't be here in the first place. But there's no point in me closevoting because I doubt very much four other users would agree with me (but probably more than four would post indignant comments telling me they don't think it should be closed! :). For what it's worth, I'd have been happy enough to see the more general "Score one to/for X. Which preposition is correct?" on English Language Learners, and might even have answered it there. But not here. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 13:15
  • Also note that you specifically say you want to grudgingly concede this one point. That's not implied by the usage you've suggested, but perhaps someone else might suggest an alternative that does carry this implication. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 13:17
  • Well, for what it's worth, it wasn't trivial for me! (to me? :))
    – Elektito
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 13:23
  • 1
    You will indeed see very basic "Which is correct?" questions asked here. Partly because until about a year ago the Learners site didn't exist. But mainly because even though it's there now, many new questioners don't know about it, and many existing ELU users have little or no interest in helping the two sites to differentiate themselves. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 16:51

2 Answers 2


The two common idioms are:

That's one for Adam Smith

Score a point for Adam Smith

"To" can be used as an alternative:

That's one to Adam Smith

Give a point to Adam Smith

So, to directly answer your question, both of your examples are acceptable.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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