I'd like to know what of the following phrases is appropriate in this scenario: I meet someone that talks to me about programming languages (computers) and based on that I think that he assume that I'm a programmer too. Then I have to choose one between the following:

  1. Just to clarify, I'm not a programmer.

  2. just for clarify, I'm not a programmer.

  3. just for clarification, I'm not a programmer.

Which one is correct, if any?

  • Since for is a preposition. It shouldnt take a verb as a complement. Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 13:27

3 Answers 3


Point 1 is correct and is often used in regular conversation.

Point 2 is incorrect and never used in conversation. However what is often said is "just for clarity...", which is correct.

Point 3 is correct and sometimes used in conversation although not as common as point 1, or the phrasing "just for clarity".

  • So basically when you say "in regular conversation" you negate for example writing. Isn't it? Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 14:49
  • None of the options is really appropriate in formal writing, but writers sometimes use them when a less formal style is desired. Formally, they are saying that the only reason I am not a programmer is in order to provide clarification, but that is not what anyone would understand any of those sentences to mean.
    – David K
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 15:24
  • What sentences 1 and 3 are understood to mean is something like, "I am going to make a statement now just to clarify other things I have said or will say, and that statement is: I'm not a programmer."
    – David K
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 15:29
  • 1
    @DavidK: Those statements (except for #2) are really not out of bounds in formal writing. (And who's talking about formal writing here anyway? OP mentioned a casual conversation). And your logic is somewhat twisted when you say "that is what anyone would understand" ... in fact, you have it backwards. That is the first thing people would understand. "Just to clarify" is an adverbial phrase, similar in meaning to honestly: "Honestly, I'm not a programmer."
    – Robusto
    Commented Dec 24, 2016 at 16:33

Of your sentences

Just to clarify, I'm not a programmer.
Just for clarification, I'm not a programmer.

are correct and appropriate. If it is a very serious matter or very formal, you might also say

Just to be clear, I'm not a programmer.

In a legal situation, you might say

To remove any doubt, I am not a programmer.

these all sound very formal.

However, If you want to be less formal and more light hearted, you could say

You know, I'm not really a programmer.
Sorry, but I'm not a programmer.


clarify is a verb. In a context like this, you need to put an infinitive-marker to in front of it.

clarification is a noun. You link extra nouns to a sentence with a preposition, for example for.

  1. correct: you have to + verb.
  2. incorrect: you have for _ verb.
  3. orrect: you have for + noun.

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