A. The point of this exercise is for you to find someone to be friends with.

A1. What does "for you" mean here?

A2. Can you replace it with " The point of this exercise is you finding someone to be friends with"?

B. I have always blamed myself for him leaving.

B1. What does "for him" mean here?

B2. Can you replace it with "I have always blamed myself for his departure"?


3 Answers 3


A1. In that sentence "for you" relates to the "point". When the exercise is completed, somebody gets a point (achieves the goal). The goal is given to somebody (or the point is awarded) to achieve. When we talk of gifts (or awards), we use noun-preposition-noun phrases. "This gift is for you".

A2. You can't replace it with that sentence because it lacks the preposition that would connect the two nouns, and "you" cannot be "the point".

B. First off, that sentence is not entirely grammatically correct. It's colloquial. The correct sentence would end "...for his leaving".

B1. The verb "blame" is transitive. It can have a direct object and an indirect object. The accepted grammatical construct is "blame {direct obj} for {indirect obj}", for instance "blame somebody for something". The direct object is the target of the blame (accusation) and the indirect object is the reason for the blame. In this sentence "him leaving" is the indirect object of the verb blame (and "myself" is the direct object).

B2. Yes, and that would actually be much more proper.

  • Thanks. It was a figure of speech, to deliver the point, so to speak. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 12:21

Both of your rephrasings (A2 and B2) improve on the original.

In A, "for" was misused. To say "The point. of Q ...is for [X]" is akin to saying "the reason is because [X]." It's redundant.

The reason is [X] (or is that [X]); it is NOT because [X].

Likewise, the "point" of the exercise) is not for [X]; the exercise itself is for [X], thus the "point" is [X].

(A) should have been worded as:

  • The point of the exercise is to [help you] find someone. . . " ( (the infinitive serves as a noun complement; specifically, a predicate nominative)


  • This exercise is for finding someone. . .
    ( predicate adjective)

The verb construction verb + for + noun + to infinitive is a special infinitive construction of English that is typical of English and often unknown in other languages. It is used very often.

Example: I arranged for a taxi to get you to the station.

It is astonishing how many variants this construction has. Actually this construction is a larger grammar chapter, but most grammars treat this grammar point negligently.

This construction is possible after nouns, verbs, adjectives and in some other cases.

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