What is the difference between "this qualifies for" and "this qualifies as"?

I don't understand the difference between "qualifies for" and "qualifies as"

2 Answers 2


"Qualifies for" means that something is eligible to participate in some event (such as a competition) or join some notable group (such as an academic achievement society).

"Qualifies as" means that something meets the criteria for being something, or at least for serving as something.

That race time qualifies for the national tournament.

That email qualifies as "written notice".


"Qualifies as" is for categorizing among things

When you are comparing things, you use "as" to distinguish or categorize them.

Tom qualifies as a pilot.

Tom has a distinction that separates him from others: he is a pilot.

Pluto does not qualify as a planet.

Pluto is not categorized as a planet because it is somehow different from those things that we do call planets.

"Qualifies for" is for measuring status/degree against a standard

Tom qualifies for promotion.

Tom is better than the minimum standard for the higher position.


When something is of particular grade, it may also be categorized differently. So you have to pay attention to what you're comparing to. Are you comparing the subject to other things like it? Or to the standards used to categorize those things?

Tom is qualified for a pilot's license. (He meets the standards/requirements for the license)

Tom is qualified as a pilot. (He belongs to a subset of people who are pilots).

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .