I intended him to come.

What is a meaning and context of using intend there? It may be known from dictionaries that intend means to have as a plan or purpose. Well let we make this substitute:

I had as a plan that he must come.

Is the sense of the sentence kept on?

Doesn't it sound awkward? How to implement a proper substitute of meaning of intend to expose it?

  • 1
    I intended him to come isn't a particularly common turn of phrase, but if it did occur it would most likely mean It had been / was my intention that he should come (usually, with the implication BUT my intention was thwarted; he didn't come). To intend something to happen isn't quite the same as wanting, planning for, or expecting it to happen, because it implies actively doing things to achieve the intended outcome (planning for an outcome doesn't imply doing anything to encourage it; it just means being ready, prepared for it if it happens). Nov 18, 2021 at 16:37
  • 1
    I had as a plan that he must come = The purpose of my plan was to ensure that he came. But I planned on him coming and I planned for him to come both mean The purpose of my plan was to ensure that if he came [which I expected to happen] this wouldn't be disruptive; his presence was anticipated, rather than sought. Nov 18, 2021 at 16:44

1 Answer 1


Your substitution adds elements that are not in the original. A better "substitution" would be

I had planned for him to come.


I wanted him to come

could also express a different usage of intended (though, "intended" implies more certainty than "wanted" does; "wanted" merely expresses desire, whereas "intended" expresses desire combined with planning, or at least expectation).

As a side note,

I intended for him to come/I wanted him to come/I expected him to come

all sound more natural to me as a native (American) English speaker; the above doesn't sound wrong, but rather archaic and old-fashioned. The phrasing would make me think of an elderly person, or dialog in a narrative set far in the past.

  • Many thanks for such a wonderful answer. Especialy for "for-exmple". I am only begginer but it seems to me that "for" is more logically there.
    – xyz
    Nov 17, 2021 at 23:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .