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Say, I am talking to a coworker before a meeting with a client. We decided to use a projector in the meeting room. I want to say that I will find a portable projector somewhere and make it available to use. So, I say:

a) "I will arrange the projector." b) "I will arrange for the projector."

Which is more appropriate?

If what I meant was that I was going to have my secretary set it all up for us, should my choice of sentence change?

In the same scenario, the client asks us if he can borrow a laptop computer from us. A dictionary says: to arrange something for someone – to make it possible for someone to use/have something. So, of the following two, is a) a natural reply to the request? Is b) cumbersome?

a) "I will arrange a laptop computer for you." b) "I will arrange for a laptop computer for you"

Lastly, do the following mean the same?

a) "I am going to arrange a party. b) "I am going to arrange for a party."

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    Not definitive enough to be an answer, from a "correct grammar" point of view, but "I will arrange a projector" sounds like you will take an active role in sorting this out, whereas "arrange for a projector" sounds to me like you intend to delegate this task to someone.
    – AdamV
    Commented Dec 7, 2015 at 23:47

3 Answers 3

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With the first sentence, your choice should be (b), but with some arrangement to it.

It would look a bit strange if you stop after the word "projector" in

I will arrange for the projector.

You'd better finish the sentence:

I will arrange for the projector to be made available for use.

You can omit the "to-infinitive" clause if you arrange (i.e. prepare) for some event:

I will arrange for a celebration.

..but "projector" is a thing, not an event, so it's relly a recipient of some action:

I will arrange [for a projector to be brought in]. ("projector" is part of the bracketed clause)


With the second sentence, this option is grammatically correct but does not fit the purpose:

I will arrange a laptop computer for you.

..it would mean "I will place a laptop in a neat position for you", as if I assume that you will have some laptop and I will approach you and move the laptop a little to make it more comfortable for you.

I would use your option (b), but rearranged a bit:

I will arrange for a laptop computer to be given to you.


a) I am going to arrange a party. = "I am going to prepare a party, to plan a party"
b) "I am going to arrange for a party. = "I am going to prepare for a party"

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  • To "prepare for a party" might simply mean getting dressed to attend a party, without being involved in the planning or "arranging" of the party. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 8:46
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According to the BNC (British National Corpus), the construction arrange for can be used here as well, and "to-infinitive" clause is not obligatory but quite common.

Try to arrange for a written record of what has been agreed for the next meeting, so...

The plain construction arrange includes more your actions, while arrange for would inline other's actions as well.

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The dummy word 'for' is a clue that the object is an event, and not a physical object. You might 'arrange the projectors' by moving them around, but if you 'arrange for the projectors [to be] [there]' then you are probably scheduling [for] them. That last 'for' is optional because scheduling always takes an abstract object.

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