0

Can you please tell which one is correct: subscribe to a membership or subscribe for a membership? For example:

If you subscribe to our membership, you'll get a discount of every product you buy at our store.

If you subscribe for our membership, you'll get a discount of every product you buy at our store.

I haven't been able to find an answer on the internet. I think both maybe be correct. If so, is there any difference in meaning?

3
  • 1
    Why do you think "subscribe" collocates with "membership"? I wouldn't say it does. "Subscribe" collocates with things that you get on a subscription basis. Memberships don't work on a subscription basis.
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 5:41
  • @gotube would you please tell me what "membership" collocates with? Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 12:21
  • There's "buy/purchase" for starters.
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 14:42

1 Answer 1

2

The fact that OP's specific example membership is qualified by our is syntactically irrelevant (it could just as well be this membership, or some "unqualified" membership). So here's the relevant usage chart...

enter image description here

There no significant difference in preference, so use whichever you like. Personally, I much prefer...

If you subscribe, [then] as a member, you'll get...

...on purely stylistic grounds. But it does also sidestep the "choice of preposition" problem!

9
  • Weird, "subscribe for * membership" is completely ungrammatical to me. Flipping through your ngram it seems to be a bit legalistic. Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 0:15
  • Like I said above, I don't like either of them. But I think "ungrammatical" is a bit extreme. Whatever - as this chart both take out membership and sign up for membership are much more common than subscribe [prep] membership. But I think the important point for OP to note is both prepositions are fine. (Or equally bad, depending on how you look at it! :) Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 4:14
  • 1
    Can you interpret the (not pictured) frequency in this ngram? I agree with @AzorAhai-him- that this construction is just wrong.
    – cruthers
    Commented Dec 11, 2022 at 21:39
  • @cruthers: As the chart in my previous comment makes clear, to subscribe [prep] membership is an "uncommon" construction, whatever preposition is used. But imho it's ridiculous / pointless to say the usage is "wrong". Sure - It's not very idiomatic (and never really was). But you couldn't possibly cite any syntactic principle that it violates. Note that part of the reason native speakers don't like it is as gotube comments - we expect "things subscribed to" to be "things delivered on a regular / continuous basis", but "membership" doesn't really meet that expectation. Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 11:40
  • Is "I subscribed in a membership" wrong or just non-idiomatic? No one says it. It sounds wrong to native speakers. What's ridiculous is to insist that breaking a syntactic rule is "wrong" while staunchly defending breaking an established usage from this designation. It's pedantry. Learners don't care about this distinction and neither do I.
    – cruthers
    Commented Dec 13, 2022 at 16:28

You must log in to answer this question.

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