What preposition do we use with love? Of or for?

Are they interchangeable?

His love of/for books is endless.

His love of/for animals was something everyone appreciated.

1 Answer 1


First of all, you'll see from this ngram that "love of books" is used considerably more often than "love for..."

"Love" in English is an odd word because it covers so many different concepts. You can love your family, and you can love chips... they aren't really the same kind of emotion, right?

In some other languages, there are words to describe different aspects of love, but in English we sometimes say "love of [x]" to denote a particular aspect, or kind of love that a person has. For example, someone who is considerate of their fellow man may be spoken of as having "love of neighbour"; A gastronomist may be spoken of as having "a love of food".

You certainly can say "love for [x]" and to be perfectly honest most listeners wouldn't care if you used one or the other, but technically you are isolating the word "love" and diminishing it to a single concept that you express towards two completely different things.

  • I just came across a sentence "my love for wrestling died that day.". What would you use here, for or of? Jul 22, 2019 at 13:24
  • 1
    @SoumyaGhosh That's an opinion based question, I feel I already answered this in a balanced factual way. Try running "wrestling" through an ngram like I did with "books" and you'll see that "of" is most widely used, but I also explained that neither is incorrect.
    – Astralbee
    Jul 22, 2019 at 13:33

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