Sometimes pensions are adjusted for inflation. This is known as indexation.

It is the capital that is adjusted for risk.

Under the comprehensive approach, the exposure is adjusted for possible increases and the collateral is adjusted for possible decreases in value.

I think "for" here fits the definition (used to show a reason or cause) as in "I couldn't speak for laughing".

Am I right? Can I replace "for" with "according to" or "as per" here?

1 Answer 1


This use of for is peculiar to specific verbs signifying quantitative change, such as adjust, reduce, increase, modify, alter. It could be paraphrased as to account for, in proportion to, to reflect and indicates the factor which determines the degree of change.

Pensions are adjusted in proportion to inflation.
Capital is adjusted to account for risk.
Exposure is adjusted to reflect possible increases, and collateral is adjusted to reflect possible decreases.

According to is a marginally acceptable paraphrase, but is better reserved to designating a source or conformity to an authority. As per is common in Indian English, but I would not use it with an English or American audience. It has never been common in Anglo usage outside of business and commercial law.

This use is only distantly analogous to I couldn’t speak for laughing. As a rule I think it is a mistake to think of prepositions as having this or that general significance which can be extended from one situation to another. Treat adjust for as one of a set of related ‘phrasal verbs’—idiomatic expressions of the form changeVERB for.

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