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Consider:

Netting is a clause in virtuall all agreements for derivatives that will be cleared bilaterally.

Basel III: A Global Regulatory Framework for More Resilient Banks and Banking Systems.

The average gross income over the last three years for each business line.

The New Challenge for Financial Markets. The regulatory capital requirements for credit risk. Monte Carlo simulation for loans in the portfolio over a one-year period. The balance sheet for the oil company. The world record for the 100 meters.

The result of the debate. A national shortage of teachers. The present value of future credit losses. Historical data on the credit spread changes of companies. Examples of scenarios of this type.

I think these "for" here fits the 3rd definition (concerning someone or something) in OALD, so does "of" (relating to). Some of these examples may be idiomatic, while others may be not.

But I wonder if "for" and "of" can be used interchangeably in some of these examples. Plz help to clarify.

Note: For this question I asked, "for + noun" examples are selected deliberately to qualify the noun for comparison.

2 Answers 2

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You're making me work! :) You could indeed use "of" in some of these examples. Some of them, we simply don't, some of them have a slightly different meaning, and some of them you could use either. Some of them I'm not quite sure of, because I don't have specialized knowledge of financial terms.

The first one probably could substitute "involving" for "for". The second one means that the framework is intended to cause more resilient banks. If you used "of" the banks themselves would be the framework. The third one could use of, but we generally say for in this case. The same for all of the sentences in your fourth paragraph, except the last one; we would never say "the world record of the 100 meters."

"The result for the debate" would be less often seen than "of" as you have it here, but it might be used. "A national shortage for teachers" would mean that there was something unspecified that teachers had a shortage of, for example "A national shortage of pencils for teachers". Future credit losses possess a present value, therefore "of" is correct here. The same for companies' credit spread changes. If you used "for" here, you would be saying that credit spread changes didn't belong to companies, but existed independently on behalf of companies in some way. Scenarios possess examples, so of is correct here.

The use of prepositions in any language is often arbitrary, and when they are they have to be learned by rote.

[Edit] I'll address your last question here. This isn't perfect, but it might help to some degree. "A for B" has a general meaning of A being in the service, under the control, or a part of B in some way. "A to B" has a general meaning of connecting A and B, with A the agent of connection (a "vector" exists from A to B, if you will). "A of B" means that B owns A in some manner. As you can see, these explanations overlap to some extent, which is why some expressions are idiomatic and have to be learned, and some expressions can substitute for, of, and/or to.

"Severity for external fraud" should be "severity of external fraud". The fraud "owns" the severity, and the severity isn't in the service or under the control of the fraud. "A key ingredient for the success" could be right, and you could also use "of". "An important decision for operational risk managers" seems best to me, since the decision is under the control of the managers.

Here is a list of ways in which for is used which may also help.

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  • Actually I worked out a similar idea. Present value is inherent part of Future credit loss. The average gross income, I think, is also directly related to business lines, why is "for" used?
    – Kinzle B
    Mar 23, 2014 at 4:02
  • Please give an example sentence with the "for" in it.
    – BobRodes
    Mar 24, 2014 at 13:00
  • The third one in my question!
    – Kinzle B
    Mar 24, 2014 at 13:06
  • Severity for external fraud, a key ingredient for the success, an important decision for operational risk managers. I can list more if you wish. @BobRodes
    – Kinzle B
    Mar 24, 2014 at 13:38
  • Acually it is "severity for external fraud" that my textbook on risk management writes. The author is John Hull. The book is Financial Institutions and Risk Management. @BobRodes
    – Kinzle B
    May 12, 2014 at 16:13
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But I wonder if "for" and "of" can be used interchangeably in some of these examples. Plz help to clarify.

Sometimes. Not always.

Consider the sentence:

What can I do for you?

Of won't fit in there (you = noun/subject).

What can I do of you?

Consider:

The life of the party.

For won't fit in there (party = noun/subject).

The life for the party.


The easiest way to use of and for is to think of of as a possessive preposition (don't know if that's an actual thing).

The temple of Isis. (Isis' temple)

The waters of the River Nile. (The River Nile's waters)

The cathedral of St. Paul. (St. Paul's cathedral)

And for is usually used when you want to add something to something else.

The temple for Isis. (Temple was built for the goddess Isis)

The waters for the River Nile. (The waters are to be given/put into the River Nile (perhaps a bottle of water from the Amazon to be added?))

The cathedral for St. Paul. (Cathedral dedicated to St. Paul)

Therefore, you can construct sentences like this:

The results of the debate showed a national shortage of teachers due to the present value of future credit losses. This can been seen given the historical data on the credit spread changes for companies, examples of these types of scenarios for this issue...


Another way is if you want to emphasize something on the left, use of. And on the right, use for.

The temple of Isis.

Focus is on temple.

I got this for you.

Focus is on you.

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