This is from the BBC 3 Alcohol problem. (see:9:25-9:33) It is about a man's who is tagged to get monitored if he drinks or not for a particular period of time, in which case he might be fined. So, he must stay away from alcohol. His father is already in prison for burglary, and his mother worries that he might drink and get sent to prison. He was out last night with friend and has just come home and his mother, upon finding out he actually drank, says to him:

"Your father loves you. The last thing he wants is for you to end up inside."

The second sentence seemed interesting to me grammatically, I thought it might not be correct, may be it is, I don't know, because according to what we were taught, the sentence structure should be;

a) "I don't like your smoking" or

b) "I don't like you smoking",

but we never say "I don't like for you to smoke", do we?

So, if we go back to the mother's sentence, I feel that the correct structure should be either:

1- The last thing he wants is you ending up inside. OR

2- The last thing he wants is your ending up inside.

So I wonder if the structure "......for you to end up inside." is correct and have the same meaning with the above 2 sentences?

  • we never say "I don't like for you to smoke", do we? yes, we do. Apr 20, 2023 at 12:27
  • The original sentence is fine the way it is. The trouble with your re-cast versions is … 2 is correct, but 99% of people would actually say 1 & not even know 2 is the correct version. Apr 20, 2023 at 14:57
  • @MichaelHarvey, Really? Is it really correct to say "I don't like for you to smoke"? If that is true, why is it never shown on any grammar content?
    – Yunus
    Apr 20, 2023 at 16:25
  • See here The structure 'I don't like for somebody to do something' which quotes Swan's Practical English Usage, 291 infinitives (13): for ... to .. Apr 20, 2023 at 17:41
  • In Standard English, it is common to introduce a clause containing an infinitive with for if the verb has a subject, as where Alex comes between for and to: I want for Alex to meet them For to Infinitives (Yale University) Apr 20, 2023 at 17:46

1 Answer 1


It is quite acceptable.

When a infinitive clause is used with an explicit subject, it it common, sometimes required for the clause to be introduce with "for".

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