When we say “for one” in a sentence, what does it mean?

I heard a sentence in a TV program where Robin Hood said:

Who will bear this injustice? I, for one, will not.

As I understand it, “I for one” means "at least I will not" or "even if others do I will not".

Does “for one” have the same figurative meaning in all the sentences in which it is used. I found that "for one" when used with "I" has different meaning than that it does have when not used with "I", e.g. here it is used as "for one thing".

  • 3
    Well, your understanding that I, for one, will not means even if others do, I will not is correct in this example.
    – user6951
    Nov 19, 2014 at 6:32
  • 1
    @user31782 You misunderstood that page. The page doesn't say that "for one" means "for one thing". Actually, it's the opposite, "for one" doesn't mean "for one thing". If you look at the emblems closely, you'll see that the Donkey uses "for one" for the Owl's "for one thing". Nov 19, 2014 at 12:25
  • Possible duplicate: ell.stackexchange.com/q/24631/3281 Nov 19, 2014 at 12:26
  • @DamkerngT. In this page, I cannot find any example of Donkey and Owl.
    – user31782
    Nov 19, 2014 at 13:38
  • @user31782 The page uses a picture of a donkey to suggest errors, and uses an owl to suggest good usage. They're in the pictures. ;-) Nov 19, 2014 at 13:46

3 Answers 3


It's just used for emphasis regarding the previously stated someone.

For example:

I, for one, will not apologize!

If you exclude for one the sentence has the same meaning, but it's not as bold; less attention is drawn to the subject, and more falls to what he/she is doing.


for one is an expression to quote someone/thing one of several possibilities.WorldWebOnline describes it:

for one* - As a particular one of several possibilities

The example follows...

"I for one feel very grateful"
"Her mother for one was worried"

Even clearer example is from the Cambridge Dictionary:

The rest of you may disagree, but I, for one, think we should proceed with the plan.

However, it is not always that 'for one' is used with the first person. The WW's second example uses it for the third person, her mother.

On the other hand, for one thing is a general use as you'd have it for anything in place of 'thing'. For instance, for one reason.

*'for one' as an adverb is doubtful. But I quoted the dictionary to clear the meaning and examples of it, which seems fine.

  • But then collectively, for one fits as an adverb, doesn't it?
    – Maulik V
    Nov 19, 2014 at 6:34
  • 1
    @F.E. Okay, I'll edit to keep it clear.
    – Maulik V
    Nov 19, 2014 at 6:46
  • I don't know what is an adverb. Could you directly explain the meaning of the those sentences. "I for one feel very grateful": does this mean "I feel grateful even if no one else does" OR "I feel grateful for one reason(thing?)".
    – user31782
    Nov 19, 2014 at 6:52
  • 1
    @user31782 yes... you are right. It is used for emphasizing that someone is thinking or behaving in a particular way, even if other people are not -MM
    – Maulik V
    Nov 19, 2014 at 7:27
  • @user31782 edited. added clearer example.
    – Maulik V
    Nov 19, 2014 at 7:29

"For one" is used in two ways. Here are some examples.

  1. Indicates that only one person feels a certain way: "I, for one, think that this is a bad idea." In the case above, you should use commas surrounding "for one" because it is an introductory clause; it introduces and clarifies the rest of the sentence.
  2. Indicates that there are several reasons to explain a phenomena: "For one, there isn't enough evidence to suggest that Sally stole the sandwich."
  • I certainly saw the phrase was used as sense 2 somewhere but unfortunately none of the professional dictionaries I have access have this sense.
    – Gqqnbig
    Jan 6, 2023 at 13:23
  • I kinda believe it's an omission from "for one thing".
    – Gqqnbig
    Jan 6, 2023 at 13:25

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