In this example:

The instrument can be used to apply pressure to the subject.

The instrument can be used for applying pressure to the subject.

Are both correct? Are there any nuances between the two?

  • @FF Good spot. And resourceful. Sep 13, 2017 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


Both are correct. There is a slight nuance, as you suspected. In your example, "to apply" is in an active voice while "for applying" is in a passive voice. Which one you choose should match the voice of the rest of the composition. The voice used in the composition should be chosen based on the intended audience. In most cases, either voice is acceptable for wide audiences as long as the composition remains consistent.

  • 1
    Can you provide any authoritative source on the active/passive voice, and some examples? The question this one was marked duplicate of has nothing on that regard. Sep 13, 2017 at 20:38

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