These phrases might be easily understandable for others, but I find them difficult to grasp, perhaps because English is not my mother tongue. I have been searching for answers for quite some time, but got even more confused every time I tried to learn the meaning of them, and when and where they are used.

What do these two phrases mean?

1 Answer 1


I can see why you'd be confused by so much for. I found two dictionaries that defined the term, but their definitions are a little tricky to understand.

TFD says:

so much for something
that is the last of something; there is no need to consider something anymore:
It just started raining. So much for our picnic this afternoon.

CDO says:

so much for something
used to express disappointment at the fact that a situation is not as you thought it was:
The car's broken down again. So much for our trip to the seaside.

Both meanings together sum up how the phrase is used pretty well. If I say, "So much for X!" then that means that I'm not going to think about X anymore; it seemed like a good idea for awhile, but now it's not going to happen.

Let's say a basketball team was losing a game by 25 points at halftime, but managed to tie the game with just one minute left. In the end, though, the other team won. Someone might say,

Well, so much for that!

In that case, the word that would refer to the team's comeback. They almost pulled off a win, but in the end they fell short.

As for for the love of, TFD defines that as:

for the love of Pete (or Mike, or God)
An exclamation of surprise, exasperation, or some similar feeling

Going back to the basketball game, let's say the team that was trailing at halftime did come back and win the game. The other team's coach might say,

For the love of God, I can't believe we lost that game!

That phrase doesn't really add any meaning to the sentence, it just adds feeling and emotion to the sentence. I don't think you'll find it used much except in direct quotes.

  • Thankyou for explaining their meaning. :) i want to ask one more thing here regarding the phrase "for the love of" this also means 'for the sake of', right? But what does it mean if we say for the love of chocolates or cates or any other thing for that matter?
    – Ardis Ell
    Apr 15, 2015 at 10:49
  • @ArdisEll - I need more context to say. Have you seen it somewhere in particular you can quote or point me to?
    – J.R.
    Apr 15, 2015 at 13:06
  • 1
    No, I would not say "for the love of" means the same as "for the sake of". First of all, it should be noted that neither of these is "common" usage; both are somewhat rare (but recognizable) colloquialisms. "For the love of" is just as J.R. said--lighthearted exasperation. "For the sake of" is primarily used as an introductory lead-in. "For the sake of argument, let's say..." Or "For the sake of brevity, assume..." It is in no way used out of frustration.
    – Kurt Tappe
    Apr 16, 2015 at 1:30
  • If I buy all the albums of my favorite singer and I say , for the love of him, would that be correct? And what does it mean here? Because I have seen around the people doing so.
    – Ardis Ell
    Apr 19, 2015 at 11:51
  • @Ardis - I love Paul Simon! I have all his albums. I buy all of Steven King's books, because I love the way he writes. That kind of construct is just fine. But, I would not use "for the love of" when explaining why I'm buying someone's albums or books.
    – J.R.
    Apr 19, 2015 at 19:30

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