In the sentence “For him to say that means a lot”, I can’t figure out how to explain what part of speech the “for” is, and how it can start off a noun phrase, but the sentence seems right to me. It seems to mean basically the same thing as “His saying that means a lot”.

Does anyone have any insight on how the “for” is being used in this case?

  • "For him to say that" is not a noun phrase but an infinitival clause with a subject ("him").
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 12:27

1 Answer 1


[For him to say that] means a lot.

"For" belongs here to the category (POS) subordinator, and its function is that of 'marker', where it is introducing the bracketed infinitival clause.

Note that "for" introduces only those infinitivals that have a subject; in this case the subject is "him".

  • I assume "POS" is short for "part of speech". But I don't know if a learner would know that abbreviation.
    – James K
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 13:27
  • @JamesK The OP asked about 'part of speech' in their question, and since I was specifically answering that question I would expect them to easily work out what POS stands for!
    – BillJ
    Commented Feb 18, 2022 at 14:20

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