Possible Duplicates:
Rule for using “for” vs. “to”
When to use “to” and when “for”?

To me the hardest thing in English is preposition and i make mistakes here. Fore example i confuse: "it is difficult for me" and "it is difficult to me"

Is there any rule?


3 Answers 3


The prepositions "to" and "for" are often interchangeable. In this case the preference is "for", and the preposition "for" conveys an idea of advantage/disadvantage.

You could say, "It is difficult for me," or, "It seems difficult to me." The preposition "for" shows involvement, while the preposition "to" conveys a perception.

  • Maybe the key places where the two are interchangeable is where the notion of "beneficiary" and "perception" converge, e.g. "That information will be useful to/for us". Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 21:04
  • They are also interchangeable when they are used as motion towards, such as, "I am headed for/to the moon." Although this is heavily dependent on the verb and object for reasons I cannot explain. I cannot run for the store, but I can run for the hills.
    – SingLow
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 13:54
  • In the latter case, I think "to" implies that you actually got there, whereas "for" just means that you set off in that direction. Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 15:53

"It is difficult to read in a moving vehicle, at least it is difficult for me."

When preceding a verb, use "difficult to". When preceding a noun, use "difficult for".

  • 6
    The preposition "to" does not precede a verb. In the case of a verb, it is in the infinitive and the word "to" is not a preposition, but rather an articular appendage of the infinitive.
    – SingLow
    Commented Mar 17, 2011 at 20:51

I'm also confused in many cases by how to use prepositions. I guess a good way to understand these subtle differences, as in your example, is to read more. At some point you will naturally feel the differences like native speakers do. At least that's what I'm trying to do. I don't think most native speakers actually pay attention to the explanation of these differences, they just feel it right or wrong.

As for your example, I think "for" sounds better. You could also add "to" after it, like:

It is difficult for me to understand the difference between "to" and "for".

"to" only makes sense if you say:

It sounds difficult to me.

When to use "to" and when "for"? has some good tips.

Just my two cents. Take my suggestions cautiously, since English is my second language as well. :)

  • Hehe, well, it's my second language too and even I go by a hunch in these situations. I guess reading helps :)
    – n0nChun
    Commented Mar 18, 2011 at 10:13

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