I was wondering if there is a difference between these 2 possibilities. In different songs I've heard:

  • 'I was born for loving you', or

  • 'Born to be wild',

but I don't get if there's a real difference or not.

Also, I tend to think that to express purpose it is rather used 'to + infinitive' when you're referring to verbs and 'for + noun', but it doesn't apply in the sentences above. Another example,

  • 'These boots are made for walking', or

  • 'These boots are made to walk'

. Can you please help me? Thanks in advance and greetings to all users!

  • "Loving" and "walking" are really gerunds, so in a sense, they are nouns.
    – ralph.m
    Commented Dec 15, 2015 at 22:30
  • You're talking about poetry, in essence. The choice of words is not based on idiom but on the mood and nuance they convey. There are no "rules".
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 0:23

2 Answers 2


"Born to do something" means that it was your destiny to do that thing.

"Born for doing something" means that your innate characteristics make you ideal for doing that thing.


I would say both phrases are to do with destiny.

The phrase 'born to do something' is to do with a person's intention. So you are the actor of your destiny, a destiny you agree to, a destiny you embrace.

Whereas the phrase 'born for doing something' is to do with the function of an object, usually. So you are the toy of your destiny, you only serve a purpose, willy-nilly.

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