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I'm a English-learner. Today I do TOEIC examination questions. there is a one confused me!

Our manager, Mr. Mullins, is admired for _____ his employees to exceed their own limitations.
(a) motivation
(b) motivate
(c) motivating
(d) motivated

The answer is (c), but I don't know why!

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The key here is the use of the preposition for.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary

For + -ing: reason

We use for + the -ing form of a verb to refer to the reason for something:

You should talk to Jane about it. You know, she’s famous for being a good listener

In your sentence it's explained why Mr.Mullins is admired, the reason.

Our manager, Mr. Mullins, is admired for motivating his employees to exceed their own limitations.

Notice that for must be followed by a verb in its gerund form. Option (a) is a noun. And (b) and (d) are verb forms but not gerunds.

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