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For + -ing

For + -ing: function

We use for + the -ing form of a verb to talk about the function of something or how something is used:

I need something for storing CDs.

[a PC is a personal computer]

The PC is still the most popular tool for developing software systems.

For + -ing: reason

We use for + the -ing form of a verb to refer to the reason for something:

You should talk to Jane about it. You know, she’s famous for being a good listener. (A lot of people know she’s such a good listener.)

For + -ing or to + infinitive?

Warning:

We don’t use for + -ing to express our purpose or intention. We use to + infinitive:

We’re going to Lisbon to visit my aunt.

Not: We’re going to Lisbon for visiting my aunt. or … for visit my aunt.

He’s now studying to be a doctor.

Not: He’s now studying for to be a doctor. or … for being a doctor.

You don’t need to bring anything. There’ll be sandwiches to eat and juice to drink.

Not: There’ll be sandwiches for eat and juice for drink.

(“For + -ing” from English Grammar Today © Cambridge University Press. Need grammar practice? Try English Grammar Today with Workbook.)

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