As for me, the first sentence seems to mean "He is rather tall even though he is a child." However, the second sentence seems to mean "He is taller than a child." Am I right?

I'd appreciate it if any of native speakers would explain the difference between these two.

If I were right about the above two sentences, the two sentences below might be the same as the above two sentnces.

He made a good job for a beginner. = He made a good job even though he was a beginner.

He made a good job to a beginner. = He made a good job toward a beginner.

1 Answer 1


This use of "for" is general, and means "in relation to", or "compared to the standard of": so your glosses are right in those cases.

There is no general meaning of "to" in these contexts, and no idiomatic meaning to your examples with "to".

I would interpret the fisrt as "tall to a child" = "a child would judge him to be tall"; so the standard of comparison is not a (typical) child, but what a (typical) child would judge to be "tall", whatever that might be.

Without more context I would be stuck for the meaning of "made a good job to a beginner". It might just about have the same meaning as the previous example (i.e. "a typical beginner would judge what he did to be a good job"); but that is stretching it. That meaning requires "to a beginner" to attach to "good job", but it is not obvious that it should attach there rather than to "made". I can't think of a likely meaning of the latter construction.

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