Are these idiomatic? if not, why?

2 coworkers are talking....

Person 1: I'm tired of working for other people. I wish I could have the money to start up my own business and be my own boss.

Person 2: Would really leave your position for having/starting up your own business? Would you change your job for having your own store?

2 Answers 2


Would you really leave your position to start your own business?

If we said "leave your job for another job", the other job is seen as a relatively static thing that already exists. You would be leaving your job for this thing. Starting your own business is an activity that you would be doing, so we would say, "to do", i.e. "to start your own business".

Would you change your job for having your own store?

This doesn't make too much sense because you are not changing your job (i.e. for another job, in the same sense). So it would then become:

Would you leave your job for having your own store?

Similar to the above, we wouldn't use "for". Also, I feel that having your own store isn't quite as certain as the opportunity to start your own business, which is a bit more of an abstract idea anyway (it could mean many things). So I would really phrase this as:

Would you leave your job so you could own your own store?

The use of the word "could" implies that this would be a possibility, an potential opportunity that would open up to you once you've left your job.

  • Thank you very much!
    – Kaique
    Nov 19, 2019 at 19:20

The verb leave can take a for phrase indicating the destination. This can be a real place:

They left for Venice.

I'm leaving for the coast tomorrow.

Or a notional place (like a job):

She left for a much better job.

But it can't be an -ing clause.

There's not really any reason for this (most -ing clauses don't make sense as destinations, but some might do): it's just a property which the verb leave happens to have.

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