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My question is very simple, the phrases

Important notes about productivity

important notes for productivity

have different meanings?

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Yes, the two sentences are actually quite different in meaning.

important notes about productivity

The preposition about in there is used to denote the fact that we are talking about important notes that concern productivity in a certain way. That's what makes them be about productivity.

important notes for productivity

Here, on the other hand, we are talking about important notes that can be used for something that can help us do things with productivity. Whatever those things are.

If you still find this confusing, please look them up in a dictionary again and I hope you will be able to clearly see the difference.

  • If i got an email titled with the "about" sentance, i would expect it to be telling my productivity needed to be improved in certain ways. With the second sentance, i would be expecting tips,reminders, or instructions to help have good productivity or to ensure my productivity is recorded properly or such – StarWeaver Feb 12 '17 at 1:29
  • Yes, but for can also mean about or regarding Cf, e.g. AHD def 10 – green_ideas Feb 12 '17 at 5:10
  • @Clare Well, only in a roundabout way. Firstly that's entirely dependent of which noun the PP is a complement of. Secondly that's only a very rough paraphrase. The for PP still denotes some kind of goal in such constructions. Note their example "a stickler for neatness". Paraphrasing that for as maning about is a vey rough gloss. – Araucaria - Not here any more. Feb 12 '17 at 8:24
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The key words in these sentences which give them different meanings are for and about

Important notes about productivity

would mean just as it says

Important notes for productivity

would mean Important notes for the purpose of productivity

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