How are you? I hope you are doing well!

As far as I know prepositions do not link clauses together as that is the job of conjunctions. However, there are instances when a preposition is linking two clauses together yet we still call it a preposition not a conjunction.

Let's look at the following examples:

1- This time, I'll vote for whoever is the best candidate in my city.

2- This time, I'll vote for he is the best candidate in my city.

Even though in the first example, ''for'' has a noun clause after it, it is still a preposition, yet in the second example it functions as a conjunction while doing the same job. Is it because in the first example what comes after "for" is a dependent clause but in the second example what follows ''for'' is an independent clause? Or is it because the meanings, that is, the semantics are completely different from each other in the first and second example? In the first example, I'm using the transitive form of "vote". In the second example however, I'm using the intransitive form of "vote"; therefore, the meanings are different.

Do meanings and semantics of what we want to say affect grammar and parts of speech and vice versa?

Also what about other prepositions? For instance:

3- I spoke to him.

4- I spoke to he who shall not be named.

In example number 3, there is a prepositional phrase acting as the object to "spoke". In example number 4, should I classify "to" as a preposition or a conjunction? As you can see there is a clause after it. Don't we also classify "before" as a conjunction when it is followed by a clause? Then, why not do the same with "to" or any other preposition for that matter?

With every passing hour I become more confused regarding propositions and conjunctions.

Anyway, sorry if my questions are stupid but I love the English language and its grammar. Every once and a while, however, the more I read, the more I get some weird questions stuck in my head.

Thank you in advance.

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – tchrist
    Commented Jan 22, 2017 at 14:28

1 Answer 1


This time, I'll vote for he is the best candidate in my city.

is an incorrect sentence

This time, I'll vote for he who is the best candidate in my city.

is a correct sentence, and then for does not do the work of a conjunction.

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