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I have a question about the usage of the preposition "for" here:

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm for animal feed.

Would replacing "for" with "as":

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm as animal feed.

, be better?

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There is very little difference between these statements. Inasmuch as they mean different things, it is this:

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm for animal feed.

The grain will undergo some (possibly minimal) processing that will make it suitable for use as animal feed.

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm as animal feed.

The grain will be given directly to animals in its current state.

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One of the meanings of X for Y is equivalent to and the purpose of that X is Y.

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm for animal feed = New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm and the purpose of that grain was animal feed.

One of the meanings of X as Y is equivalent to and the intent was to have Y considered to be X.

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm for animal feed = New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm and the intent was to have the grain considered to be animal feed.

So there is only a very slight difference in meaning. The second sentence can imply that New Belgium sold 64 million pounds of grain to one farm as animal feed - meaning something like maybe it was recorded somewhere as being animal feed - but it leaves open a slight possibility that its final actual use may possibly not have been animal feed.

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Depends on what you trying to say.

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm for animal feed.

This means it's either going to used as animal feed or its gonna be used to make animal feed. In my dialect, I assumed the last one first.

New Belgium produced 64 million pounds of spent grain in 2013 that it sold to one farm as animal feed.

This is pretty explicit that the grain will be used as animal feed.

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  • So, "for" is wrong?
    – meatie
    Jun 1 '16 at 4:48
  • No, I don't think so. I think the feed has to be processed somehow to make it suitable for use as animal feed. Which is why the author used the word "for". Jun 1 '16 at 5:10

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