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I've seen some examples on the Internet where people say, "make money for doing". I know that the proper way of saying this is "make money doing" or, "make money by doing". But since I've seen the "for doing" being used quite frequently, I wanted to make sure what this informal or colloquial expression meant.

For example,

"I make money for buying drugs."

Can be taken as,

"I make money for the purpose of buying drugs."

Or

"I make money (by) buying drugs."

I'd love everyone's opinions.

3

I think "I make money for buying drugs." is equivalent to "I make money for the purpose of buying drugs." (Your first option.)

It definitely does not mean your second option. ("I make money by buying drugs." is definitely not a correct interpretation of "I make money for buying drugs.")

However, I think a better way to express the idea is any of the following:

  • "I make money to buy drugs."
  • "I make money so that I can buy drugs."
  • "I make money so I can buy drugs."
  • "I make money to fund my drug purchases."
  • Can the same be said for, "I earn"? Does "I earn money for buying drugs." mean " I earn money for the purpose of buying drugs."? – Bryan Jones Aug 31 '15 at 8:01
  • @BryanJones: Yes. – Mowzer Aug 31 '15 at 8:12
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In the case of "buying drugs" I agree with Mowzer's answer, but I have heard

I make money for X

meaning "I do X as a way of making money." I suspect this started to be used via the form "I do X for money"

For example:

I make money for designing websites. (said by a web designer)

vs

I design websites for money.

I think the form "I make money for designing websites." is sloppy writing, but it may be a new usage coming into fashion. Still i would advise using:

I (do) X for money

or

I make money by (doing) X

The Do/Doing may be needed, depending on the form of X. If X is a verb or verb phrase, do/doing will not normally be needed. If X is a noun or a gerund that acts as a noun, do or some more specific verb will be needed.

  • I play Poker for money .
  • I do art for money.
  • I run marathons for money

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