I've gone through this post and I understand the difference between accuse and blame. What I don't understand is that why don't we use "for" with accuse. E.g we say,

He's been accused of murder.

And in case of blame, we say,

He has been blamed for the* murder.

Why don't we say "He's been accused for the murder"? I guess that we use for only to mention the reason and in case of accuse, He is not responsible for murder but is actually the murderer. Please explain which grammar rule is acting here and also please explain the meaning or sense of the incorrect version(accused for), i.e. how do native English speakers take it.

* I'm not sure that the should be there or not.

  • See blame for and accuse of.
    – user3169
    May 27, 2015 at 17:23
  • possible duplicate of What is the difference between blame and accuse?
    – user3169
    May 27, 2015 at 17:24
  • 2
    @user3169 The answer to that question is a little helpful, but it seems to me that this is really asking for the difference between 'for' and 'of', rather than between 'accuse' and 'blame'. He's blamed for the murder, meaning that he's the cause of that particular murder. He's accused of murder, because being accused is an attribute of the person. We use of when expressing attributes or properties. The distinction is not super clear-cut, and which preposition to use if often one of those things that a native speaker knows without knowing exactly why.
    – DCShannon
    May 27, 2015 at 19:01
  • Fixed form (phrasal verbs): Suspected of murder...a suspect in the murder....blamed for the murder...arrested for murder. ..arrested on suspicion of murder. Charged with murder. Accused of murder. Indicted for murder. Tried for murder. Convicted (or acquitted) of murder. May 28, 2015 at 8:29

2 Answers 2


The expressions are simply fixed. Many verbs combine with a preposition in a fixed expression.

As for the difference between the two verbs, you can find that in What is the difference between blame and accuse?.

  • I don't think they are simply fixed. AFAIK for is used for telling reason, time etc and similarly of is used in certain relationship with the words around it. What is the meaning of "of" and "for" in these sentences? And if they are sim[ply fixed then do we cram the words with which for has to be used instead of of?
    – user31782
    May 27, 2015 at 15:47
  • 1
    The verbs can often take different prepositions, but with different meanings. At my university we've had to cram a list of verbs with fixed prepositions. 'to accuse' was one of them. But there are verbs that have different prepositions or even none. For example: 'approve'. Without a preposition it does not mean the same thing as 'approve of'. So with fixed I do not mean that the verb ALWAYS takes that preposition, but to express that specific meaning it does.
    – Vlammuh
    May 27, 2015 at 15:53
  • Is it also true in other languages? In my language I have not crammed any combination of 'word+preposition'. Every preposition has a fixed rule and meaning.
    – user31782
    May 27, 2015 at 15:59
  • These verbs are called 'phrasal verbs'. And yes, they exist in other languages as well :)
    – Vlammuh
    May 27, 2015 at 16:12
  • I'm not sure what either of you mean by cram — do you mean study? Or pair?
    – choster
    May 27, 2015 at 16:19

The verb construction to accuse someone of a crime is a construction with historical roots. Already in Latin accusare (to accuse) was used with accusative (person) and genitive (crime).

The genitive may be made plausible with two sententences: He was accused. Why? It is the accusation of murder.

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