adjective + to /for (e.g. important for me / to me )

valdemar

Senior Member
Español mexicano
I'm trying to understand the rule exactly to use "for" or "to" in the context of using adjective + to/for.

My tries to interpret this:

- The investment results are not clear for me ( saying that they give no benefit to me )
- The investment results are not clear to me (to my opinion I cannot interpret the results because they are not clear)


- Your behavior is difficult for me (it causes me some kind of trouble)
- Your behavior is difficult to me (to my point of view your behavior is difficult and I understand why people say you are a complex person)

- It is not easy for me to accept stolen money
- It is not easy to me to accept stolen money

- It is impossible for me to get a new job
- It is impossible to me to get a new job

- The information you sent is very useful for us
- The information you sent is very useful to us

Please help!!. This is killing me.
As always, thank you so much.
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    You're mixing several things here. First, some adjectives take a particular preposition. You just have to memorize these together:

    I am keen on chocolate.
    Apples are good for you.
    I am interested in science.
    The results are not clear to me.

    Second, 'for' marks the subject of an infinitive clause. These clauses can be subject of another clause, but more often 'it' is used as dummy subject, and the infinitive clause is moved away to the right:

    For me to get a new job is impossible.
    It is impossible for me to get a new job.

    Here it is not the adjective ('impossible', 'easy', 'difficult', or whatever) that is taking 'for', it is the infinitive subject 'me'.

    With 'useful', I suppose I'd say it normally takes 'to', but it is possible to use 'for' also, but now the phrase 'for us' is independent, it's not chosen by the adjective. So you can move it around independently:

    For us, the information is very useful.
     
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    valdemar

    Senior Member
    Español mexicano
    Well now I'm little confused. What is really difficult to me is the fact of knowing when to use one preposition or the other because I'm not sure about the meaning obtained. As I understand from you explanation, an adjective take a preposition, which I suppose is the one that is normally used, and I have to memoraize it. So, for example, "the results are not clear to me" is used whereas " the results are not clear for me " is not. Is that so?


    I was thinking that using one or the other preposition would be possible but depending on the context or what I wanted to express. So in those cases I would not know the meaning obtained ( That's why I put my try in brackets ). Or what would the difference be between " It is not easy for me to accept stolen money" and "It is not easy to me to accept stolen money".

    Sorry if I'm saying nonsense things
    Thanks for answering
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Basically, yes: you don't normally get a choice between 'to' and 'for'. In most of your examples, either the adjective chooses its own preposition ('eager for' but 'important to' but 'proud of'), or an infinitive clause requires 'for' to mark its subject.

    In your new example, what is or isn't easy is a whole clause, 'me to accept stolen money', so it needs the infinitive marker 'for' before the subject.

    It is possible to find examples where these two conditions could both be true, giving you a choice. 'Important' takes 'to':

    Honesty is important to me.
    To be honest is important to me.
    It is important to me to be honest.

    But we could also think of this last sentence as having a subject of the infinitive:

    It is important [for me to be honest].

    That doesn't say who it's important to. It might be important to my mother or my parole officer - they want me to be honest. If I use 'to', it means I want someone to be honest, but it now doesn't have a subject of 'be': perhaps I want people generally to be honest:

    It is important to me [__ to be honest].
    It is important to me [for people to be honest].
     

    x-yuri

    Member
    Russian - Ukraine
    As far as I understand, one more thing OP is probably mixing here is 'to me', meaning 'in my opinion'.
     
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