I read we can say:

1) He is sent for.

Okay, then can we say:

2) He is sent a student for?

Like, of course, we can say:

3) A student is sent for him.

But the idea is to make "he" the main figure in the sentence.

Then if we can say those sentences we can improve the idea:

4) I was sent a present to by her


5) I was sent a present by her to

Does it work?

1 Answer 1


I was going to comment under Sam's answer, but decided this probably needs it's own answer.

to send for

Is an English phrasal verb (https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/american_english/send-for)

"Send" is the verb it's based on, but "send for" has a completely different usage. Therefore you can't break the phrase up into the verb/preposition components and expect it to still work.

The rest of your sentences are using the verb "send" - which is not the same meaning as "send for".

Starting to master phrasal verbs is one of the jumps from beginner to intermediate English use, and here's a good starting list:


Most of the English learners I've known are quite surprised by how they've understood every word in a sentence, but the meaning still escapes them. It's usually because there's a phrasal verb being used. (and yes, they can annoyingly have nouns inserted between the verb and preposition/adverb to make them even more confusing!).

  • Yeah, I read Sam's answer(or the Sam's answer?) but what about the rule that it's better not to end a sentence with a preposition? How to change "He is sent for" not to have the preposition at the end, then? Feb 16, 2019 at 15:02
  • @MichaelAzarenko don't think of the sentence as having a preposition on the end, but that preposition is part of the verb. Maybe it would help if you thought of the verb as "sentfor" (one word - except it's not that simple). The combination turns it into a verb - a phrasal verb. It's one of the quirks of the English language. Here's a more interesting link to why they even exist: homes.chass.utoronto.ca/~cpercy/courses/6361lamont.html
    – Snowy Oz
    Feb 17, 2019 at 11:04
  • Oh, I think, i see it. It's better not to put a preposition at the end of a sentence if the preposition isn't a part of a phrasal verb, right? But if it's a prt of it, it's completely okay, yes? Like, two examples: 1) Who did you send for? = in the meanng of "summon". Yes, the 'for" is at the end but it's a part of the phrasal verb and being at the end is okay. 2) Who did you send for? = (who did you send it for?). Here the verb "send" is an alone verb and "for" isn't in its structure. Here it would be better to say "For who (or even "for whom") did you send? Yes? I understood right? Feb 20, 2019 at 7:57
  • For 1) yes, you nailed it. 2) yes, you got the idea, but if you're talking about someone "fetching" something ("it") then you might just say: "Who did you send to fetch/bring/get it?" or "Who did you send?", if the "it" is already clear in the previous statement (ie, the topic has been set). The shorter "Who did you send?" is sufficient, even if it feels a little incomplete. My main point is that "send for" does not equal "send", so you can get stuck by trying to play with the "send" part.
    – Snowy Oz
    Feb 24, 2019 at 0:49
  • If instead of "Who did you send for?" in the meaning of "Who did you send it for?" I can say "Who did you send?", then how to distinguish the latter sentence from "Who did you send?" like directly. I sent a box, a car, two slaves, a rock and somebody else. "Who else did you send?" Mar 2, 2019 at 9:58

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