at/for somebody

jokless

Member
Spanish (Spain)
What's the difference between for and at when I write, for instance, a note ?

You put a note on a table at home for/at (?) your brother:

For brother: Could you call me when you read this note?

or

At brother: Could you call me when you read this note?


Note: brother means the name what you prefer.


It's more or less the same I put here:http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1791462 but not exactly. If it's better write this on the other post let me know and I'll do.
 
  • micafe

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    "At" is never used in that context.

    The word normally used is "to". "To my brother: ...."A mi hermano"

    "This note is for my brother"- "Esta nota es para mi hermano"
     

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thanks, but now I don't understand why I have to use to and others times at, I mean:

    To Pepito el grillo: XXXXXXX


    but as I was talking in the other post, in twitter will be:

    At Pepito el grillo: XXXXXX


    Don't they have the same sense?
     

    marimara

    Member
    Spanish
    I don´t know why they use "at", maybe it means something like "adressed at". But the correct one is, as Micafe said, "to".
     

    micafe

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    I don't know why it will be like that in Twitter.

    You throw things AT people
    You scream AT people

    But you don't "talk" AT people.

    Prepositions in English are one of the most difficult things. Frankly, it's very difficult to explain because sometimes it just doesn't make sense. It's a matter of memorizing them.

    I wish I could help you more..
     

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I often read in forums, twitter, facebook, etc. @John, @Marta, etc. when they want to give a message to someone. I always use for and to as micafe said, but after see that I say I was wondering If I was using it bad and I had to use at instead of for and to.
     

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Thanks again. When I asked people that write something like that, they say "because in English you use at and not to".
     

    micafe

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    Thanks again. When I asked people that write something like that, they say "because in English you use at and not to".
    That's wrong. Unless it's not just writing a message to someone.. Is there any other context?

    Languages have changed so much nowadays with the Internet that maybe they've decided to use @ in their text messages for "to" as they for example use "K" for "que" in Spanish.

    But it doesn't mean that "que" is written with a "K".

    That's the only explanation I can give you now. But in correct English it's always "to".

    :)
     

    jasminasul

    Senior Member
    Spanish Andalusia
    I don't know why it will be like that in Twitter.

    You throw things AT people
    You scream AT people

    But you don't "talk" AT people.

    Prepositions in English are one of the most difficult things. Frankly, it's very difficult to explain because sometimes it just doesn't make sense. It's a matter of memorizing them.

    I wish I could help you more..

    I´m not sure if I understand this; are you saying that "talkint at" doesn´t exist?
    talk at, a. to talk to in a manner that indicates that a response is not expected or wanted.

    b. to direct remarks meant for one person to another person present; speak indirectly to.
     

    micafe

    Senior Member
    Spanish - Colombia
    I´m not sure if I understand this; are you saying that "talkint at" doesn´t exist?
    talk at, a. to talk to in a manner that indicates that a response is not expected or wanted.

    b. to direct remarks meant for one person to another person present; speak indirectly to.
    I'm saying when you're messaging with someone and you are going to address a message "to" someone you do not use "at"...

    That was the original question.

    Talking at someone is not regular English.. it's used when you don't want an answer, you don't care for an answer, you're disregarding an answer, you're ignoring an answer..
     
    Last edited:

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    That's wrong. Unless it's not just writing a message to someone.. Is there any other context?

    Languages have changed so much nowadays with the Internet that maybe they've decided to use @ in their text messages for "to" as they for example use "K" for "que" in Spanish.

    But it doesn't mean that "que" is written with a "K".

    That's the only explanation I can give you now. But in correct English it's always "to".

    :)
    After read something about twitter I think the decided to use it or maybe it means "at place", I mean, when you use @Marta you are saying at Marta's profile or "at link" (at place too), because in that case Marta is usually a link so you are saying a this place linked. And then you pur whatever you want. Did I explain myself well?


    Thanks so much.

    jasminasul, i don't understand that:

    b. to direct remarks meant for one person to another person present; speak indirectly to.
     

    ffcleino14

    Member
    United States, English
    The "@" in Twitter is just something that is used in "internet language." In Twitter in English, when you "tweet at" someone (for example, type in @abcde), you will actually notice that above the box it says "Reply to abcde."

    As mentioned above, "talk at" is "to talk to in a manner that indicates that a response is not expected or wanted."

    In your original example, you would always say that the note is "for" your brother.

    Hope that helps.
     

    jasminasul

    Senior Member
    Spanish Andalusia
    Hi Jokless,
    First let me tell you that I agree with marimara and micafe, you write a note to somebody, not at.
    You talk at somebody when you are not really engaging in a conversation and maybe you feel superior to the other person. Also when you talk to one person in the room about another person because you don´t want to talk directly to this second person, say because you are angry with him / her.
    I can give you examples in Spanish if you want, but it has nothing to do with the use of at in this thread.
     

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I understand now talk at, thanks to all.

    ffcleino14, I know what's the meaning when you put @abcd, but I didn't undertand why at (@) and not to. Because of that I was thinking I was wrong about the use of to and for (I use them like mcafe and jasminasul said) and I asked if I have to use "at" but now I'm sure that I was true before my mental mess. Maybe using at (@) is something like micafe said, people use it instead of "to" but not with the meaning of "at" (the pronunciation of @) or maybe it's my explanation of "at place" (explanation about why twitter tought about use @ and then people use instead of to).

    Thank to much to all for your responses and giving me more knowledge.
     

    jokless

    Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    In your original example, you would always say that the note is "for" your brother.

    Hope that helps.
    Are you telling me I can say "for my brother: bla bla bla" and "to my brother: bla bla bla"?

    In any case, that makes sense to me but I thougt I can't put for in that case.
     

    ffcleino14

    Member
    United States, English
    Micafe is right. In Twitter, we use "@" to mean "to." You may hear the slang phrase "tweet at" somebody, but you are really "tweeting to" somebody.

    I would say we use @ because it is a symbol; instead of having to type out "to" we can just type "@." Also, if we typed "to" then Twitter wouldn't know whether it was just a regular "to" in a sentence or whether we were tweeting "to" somebody. It's just a convention.

    In response to your original example, I should have been more clear. Prepositions are very confusing! If I were writing a note to my brother and I left it on the desk for him (is that what you are describing?), I would write in the note itself "To my brother (a mi hermano): could you call me when you read this note," but I would say that the note is for my brother (para mi hermano). So I agree 100% with micafe's first reply!

    Hope this isn't more confusing.
     
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