be closed <to><for> traffic

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Pan123

New Member
Chinese
Hi everyone,

I was trying to describe a situation where roads or streets are closed off and no traffic is allowed, and I came to find that “be closed to traffic” is a commonly used phrase. Then I was wondering if it’d be okay to use the preposition “for” instead, as these days “closed for business” is everywhere in the news.

According to the results from Ngram Viewer, “closed to traffic” is a lot more common than “closed for traffic”, but “closed for business” is used more often than “closed to business”.

What’s the secret behind the prepositions in these cases? Is it just a matter of collocation?

Thanks for any help you can offer.
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    Yes, 'closed to traffic' is the common collocation.

    And I'm afraid you're right. In many instances it is just 'common usage' that dictates the word we use.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    'Closed for business' is odd. The more natural uses of 'to' and 'for' are seen in:

    closed to traffic ['to' = 'against']
    closed to visitors
    closed to unauthorized personnel

    closed for renovation/refurbishment ['for' = 'because of']
    closed for the holidays
    closed for family reasons
     

    Pan123

    New Member
    Chinese
    Yes, 'closed to traffic' is the common collocation.

    And I'm afraid you're right. In many instances it is just 'common usage' that dictates the word we use.
    Thank you for responding to my question.
     

    Pan123

    New Member
    Chinese
    'Closed for business' is odd. The more natural uses of 'to' and 'for' are seen in:

    closed to traffic ['to' = 'against']
    closed to visitors
    closed to unauthorized personnel

    closed for renovation/refurbishment ['for' = 'because of']
    closed for the holidays
    closed for family reasons
    I didn't notice 'closed for business' is odd until you pointed it out, but I did see it on the news several times before.

    Also, I really appreciate the additional examples you provided.
     
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