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I've seen people use both confirmation for and confirmation of, and I'm wondering if they mean the same thing or they have slightly different implications.

After you are done reviewing the attached essay, please confirm your receipt of it.

After you are done reviewing the attached essay, please confirm your receipt for it.

I think the second usage is wrong because I've seen people use "x.com order confirmation for your recent order", but not "x.com order confirmation of your recent order".

They seem interchangeable, but at some point they don't seem.

I guess I basically have two questions. I didn't even realize I was asking about "receipt of/for".

Which of the following sentence is correct?

I need your confirmation for the essay I sent you.

I need your confirmation of the essay I sent you.

I think that of is definitely more common, but can for be correct in this case? I'm so confused about this usage that I usually leave everything out and say "please review the attached essay and confirm receipt." Is this a full, grammatically acceptable sentence?

  • 1
    Without context, neither "I need confirmation for the essay I sent you," nor "I need confirmation of the essay I sent you" makes sense. You don't confirm an object. You confirm an action. – Daniel Jun 25 '13 at 15:42
  • your receipt of it = the act of you receiving it (so confirming that means verifying the fact that you did receive it. Whereas your receipt for it would normally be understood as a reference to a sales slip / counterfoil (given to you when you bought it, for example; this isn't something you'd normally be asked to "confirm"). – FumbleFingers Jun 23 at 13:41
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What you want is confirmation of receipt of the essay.

This is not only ugly, it is potentially confusing, because a receipt is a confirmation of receipt of the essay; and we call that a receipt for the essay.

This is what happens when people use nominalized verbs instead of actual verbs. Your instinct to turn those nominals back into the verbs they come from is commendable. Do so at every opportunity.

After you have reviewed the essay, please confirm that you received it.

Three verbs, no nominals, no prepositions.

  • How about my simple version? Does "Please review the essay and confirm receipt" make sense? I'm just wondering if I have been using an ungrammatical example. Thank you! – jess Jun 26 '13 at 15:23
  • @jess That's fine, it's grammatical, and it won't be misunderstood. – StoneyB Jun 26 '13 at 15:48
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It's not confirmation [for,of] it's receipt [for,of] that you are asking about.

In the first sentence receipt means the act or process of receiving. The request asks that you confirm that you have received something.

In the second sentence receipt is a noun meaning proof of purchase- actually a written acknowledgement from the seller that they have received payment for goods or services. The request is asking that you confirm that you possess that written acknowledgment.

A receipt for something always means the written acknowledgement. Receipt of something always means the reception of that thing.

In your case, the second sentence is probably incorrect because, in context, it isn't very likely that they are asking to see your proof of purchase for the essay; they want to see you acknowledge that you received it.

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This both phrases are using in different occasion. If yo have confirmation regards to any matter then you can use "confirmation of". The "confirmation for" is using in the case of the confirmation is not clear about the matter :)

  • I think that somehow you are trying to convey the correct message, but it gets drowned in the abundance of ungrammatical constructions and typos. – oerkelens Jun 5 '14 at 9:49

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