I am searching for an answer to the use of 'for' in the following sentences:

  1. I would like for you to keep it.
  2. Life was too weird for Jeff to return to class.

I've found some answers. For example: 'because' or 'since' and also as a conjunction instead of as a preposition and I've seen it described as an intensifier. But I don't think it's any of those here. Is it a prepositional phrase?

If so, why is it possible to take out 'for' in the first sentence but not in the second?

  • 1
    Too [adjective] for is just a standard construction. "This hat is too big for me." "It was too wet for us to go out." etc. etc. Dec 17, 2019 at 12:45
  • As well, like can have either for + object + infinitive or a direct object + infinitive. It'd be a tighter comparison to compare to a verb like prefer; "prefer for you + infinitive" is much less standard than "like for you + infinitive." Dec 17, 2019 at 14:42
  • ...as pointed out in linguist John Lawler's answer to that linked question, the verb "to like" allows a For-complementizer on its subject, if it's different from the subject of "like" (but as with "intend, prefer, want", etc., the word "for" is often "deleted" in such usages). So that's a special case, only loosely related to your other example where "for" can't be deleted. Dec 17, 2019 at 15:02
  • The "for" in your first example is part of the for-to complementizer, which converts a clause into the complement of some suitable verb. The "for" in the second example, however, is the preposition "for".
    – Greg Lee
    Dec 17, 2019 at 18:05


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