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The worker jumped for a balcony when the scaffolding he was standing on started to crash down.

Is for the correct preposition here if the worker intends to jump over to the balcony but we don't know whether he makes it or not?

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  • Yes, it's fine. Aug 21, 2020 at 11:23

1 Answer 1

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Yes. "Jump for" means the person was aiming for the balcony when they jumped. Similarly, "reach for" means to reach out towards something. Neither necessarily mean that you achieved your aim, for example:

  • He reached for the top shelf but wasn't quite tall enough.
  • He jumped for the balcony but missed by inches.

Idiomatically, "jumped to the balcony" would mean that they reached it.

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    I agree with this answer; I would add that 'for' could also be used if he DID make it, e.g. "He jumped for the balcony and landed hard." I think, in this case, that it indicates that the person jumping was not sure he could make the balcony, and then we can find out in other ways whether or not he did.
    – rcook
    Aug 21, 2020 at 13:37
  • @rcook Yes, for implies nothing about success or failure, merely the attempt itself. Aug 21, 2020 at 14:26

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