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As I am currently writing an essay about the role of the government and the public in protecting endangered animals, when writing about the responsibility of people, I was not sure if I should use "for" or "to", for example, as in this sentence below. Also, it would be of great help if anyone can tell me the difference between the uses of those two prepositions in this context.

For average people, investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

To average people, investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

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To answer your question "which should I use" depends on what you mean, to be honest in these examples it turns out that the difference in meaning is negligible because the important part of using to is to define that the time belongs to people as individuals, but that is already defined by the use of their in both sentences. Note 1 below

The first example relates to the purpose of doing X.

For average people, investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

for preposition (PURPOSE)

There's a sign there saying "boats for hire". Cambridge English Dictionary

For average people, the purpose of investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

The second example relates to whom the time belongs.

To average people, investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

to preposition (BELONGING)

My dad gave me the keys to his car. Cambridge English Dictionary

To average people, investing any of their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical.

Note 1 If the two examples had been written without their, then there would have been significant difference in the meaning

For average people, the purpose of investing time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical. Meaning in general, anybodies time!

To average people, investing their time and efforts in animal protection programs appears to be impractical. Meaning their own personal time

  • thank you for taking your time to answer my question Brad. I do have a question though. Why do you need to add "the purpose of" in the sentence? I think doing this might change its original meaning. – Goodie Good Aug 4 at 8:55
  • @Goodie Good you do not need to add anything to your original sentences. What I added, is what is implied by the choice of words in the original sentences. What the actual root meaning is. I did this to help my explanations. – Brad Aug 4 at 9:04

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