Is there any reason that explains the difference between ''This makes sense to me'' and ''This makes sense for me''?

  • No difference in meaning. For might slightly emphasize that it was your conclusion, but not necessarily. The reason is that to is more common for percepts like that (seems/looks/feels/sounds/appears to me), and using for is different, hence raises a question of why, and that's one possible interpretation. For those who look for such. Sep 22, 2022 at 18:02

4 Answers 4


In Britain we would say "makes sense to me", but I believe (and I'm willing to be corrected) Americans have a tendency to use - "makes sense for me".

Preposition use is a constant area of divergence between British and American expression.

Other similar prepositional differences in use are: "different to" (UK), "different than" (USA); "speaking to" (UK), "speaking with" (USA); "at the weekend" (UK), "on the weekend" (USA).

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    I (British) might use 'it makes sense to me' when I mean 'it is understandable to me' or 'I agree with what you say'- e.g. 'your explanation makes sense to me', and I could say that something (e.g. a proposed arrangement) makes sense for me if I mean it suits my individual circumstances ('suits me'), e.g. 'the idea of flexible working makes sense for me because I have to use public transport and might not be able to always arrive by 9 AM' or 'having the office on the ground floor makes sense for me because I am a wheelchair user'. Sep 1, 2022 at 9:14
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    I (UK) was taught to say different from! Sep 1, 2022 at 9:33
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    American here: "Makes sense to me" feels much more natural, and Ngrams seems to bear that out.
    – stangdon
    Sep 1, 2022 at 13:16
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    @MichaelHarvey I'd also agree about "Flexible working makes sense for me". But that's a slightly different meaning of "makes sense" - and a relatively recent one I suspect. But this probably answers the OP's question. There you have two different senses of "makes sense" and one takes "to" and the other "for".
    – WS2
    Sep 1, 2022 at 17:37
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    @KateBunting I can accept "from" or "to", though the latter is what I use and will continue to do so. However I have never been able to take "than" seriously in this context. It strains the boundaries of semantics, in my view, to say "different than". "Than" is a preposition used between comparators - John is bigger than George. "Different than" seems to make no sense, unless you say "John and Jenny are more different (to one another) than Fred and Muriel".
    – WS2
    Sep 1, 2022 at 20:55

A low-carb diet might not make sense to someone because they don’t understand the logic of it, but a low-carb diet could make sense for someone because of their health goals.

Similarly, I could say a deal makes sense to me because I understand its technical details. At the same time I could say a deal doesn’t make sense for me because I’m not making money on the deal.

X “makes sense for” her/me/him/you/them because Y

X “makes sense to” her/me/him/you/them because she/I/he/you/they understand it intellectually.


The structure is makes sense (for somebody) to do something. For instance,

  • It doesn't make sense for me to play video games for hours.

Now, let's split it.

-Do you play video games for long hours?

-No, not at all. It (playing video games) doesn't make sense for me.


-Do you play video games for long hours?

-It doesn't make sense to waste time in a virtual world; I'm too old for this.



Americans do not say "makes sense for me". Makes sense "for" me makes it seem like whatever makes sense was made sense specifically for the person saying this. I think it can be used. If something makes sense to make me happy, then it makes sense for me.

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