He had always had a fond love of literature.

Love of something or love for something? What's the correct preposition to be used with love, in the above context?

  • Love of permits a reversal of direction, love for, definitely not.
    – Ben Voigt
    Apr 11, 2011 at 23:32
  • An unfond love of literature?? Jun 27, 2015 at 11:48

3 Answers 3


It's not an either-or situation. You can use either preposition.

Love of money is the root of all evil.

The Love for Three Oranges (opera by S. Prokofiev)

I have nothing but love for my children.

"For the love of God, why would you say such a thing!"

Note: "of" may be used to express that the object of the preposition is the thing that loves, as in the last example above. You could say something like "I would do anything for the love of a good woman," meaning that you want to get her love (as well as, presumably, to give it).

  • 2
    In I have nothing but love for my children, for is the complement (is that the word?) of have, not of love, so that case is not like the others. Using of in that sentence instead would change the meaning from "what have for my children is nothing but love" to "I don't have any money or, well, anything else, except that I have love of my children".
    – msh210
    Apr 11, 2011 at 17:23

I think, "love of" is ambiguous. Consider this. "The love of his wife was undiminished." Who has love for whom? "The love for his wife was undiminished." It is clear that either the speaker or someone else loved his wife.


love for- in support of or in favor of example: His love for his family inspired him to work his hardest every day. love of- almost the same in meaning with "fondness for":having an affection or liking for example: His love of cats put him on national TV.

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