bid on vs. bid for

jtm22

Senior Member
French/English - Canada
Can someone please clarify when one uses "bid on" versus "bid for"? The context is bdding for (on?!) work positions, vacation time etc. As in "You can use this software to bid on (for?!) vacation weeks."

Thanks in advance for your help!
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Can someone please clarify when one uses "bid on" versus "bid for"? The context is bdding for (on?!) work positions, vacation time etc. As in "You can use this software to bid on (for?!) vacation weeks."

    Thanks in advance for your help!
    I don't understand your context - who is bidding, and what do they win?
     

    jtm22

    Senior Member
    French/English - Canada
    Sorry: the context is employees who bid on/for specific work positions or vacation weeks. That is, they make lists of the positions or weeks they would prefer. The software in question takes into consideration the employees preferences as well as seniority, vacation quotas etc., and creates a schedule.
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Sorry: the context is employees who bid on/for specific work positions or vacation weeks. That is, they make lists of the positions or weeks they would prefer. The software in question takes into consideration the employees preferences as well as seniority, vacation quotas etc., and creates a schedule.
    Ah ok. I think I'd better leave this for American speakers then (presuming that's where it's used) as we don't use "bid" in this way in British English as far as I know.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Sorry: the context is employees who bid on/for specific work positions or vacation weeks. That is, they make lists of the positions or weeks they would prefer. The software in question takes into consideration the employees preferences as well as seniority, vacation quotas etc., and creates a schedule.
    This still doesn't make sense so I'm not sure "bid" is the right word. What are they bidding with? The outcome of the bidding determines who gets what job and who gets to take vacation?
    If I outbid my manager, can I become his boss? ;)
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    In ordinary English, I think we would say "apply for" or "request".

    I realize that the requests given priority according to various factors, but I would not consider this weighting of requests "bidding".

    However, if 'bid' is what this is commonly called where you work, I would say bid for.
     

    jtm22

    Senior Member
    French/English - Canada
    Well, this series of replies at least confirms that I'm not alone in my frustration! "Bid" is, as you surmise, *not* my choice; it's the term chosen by the previous technical writer at my place of work -- and unfortunately not something I can change.

    So we have one vote for "bid on" and one for "bid for"... any other opinions so that I might at least go with majority rules?

    (Thanks to all for your replies -- hopefully this thread will at least help someone else avoid the choice of "bid" in the first place!!)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    If it were actually an auction-style competition, I would say "bid on" but since it's not I'll vote for "bid for". ;)
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I was on a flight today. Airlines usually use the system described by jtm22 to assign crew flight schedules. I asked the purser and a senior flight attendant which word they would use. They both voted strongly for "for."

    These two crew members both spoke AE, and this was on a U.S.-based airline where one would expect AE usage to prevail. BE may differ.
     

    jtm22

    Senior Member
    French/English - Canada
    Perfect -- thanks so much for your input (and especially for asking the flight crew!!) Much appreciated!
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    What if the context is about bidding on/for international sports competitions like the Olympics and the Asian Games?

    e.g. One of the benefits of bidding on/for the Olympic Games is that it would create employment, especially in construction and sports training.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It seems that most people would use "bid for," possibly for the reason Myridon gives above: it is not a real auction. Countries are asking for something -- that they be allowed to host the Olympic Games.

    (I don't think you are describing the benefits of bidding for the games, but rather the reasons given for bidding for the games.)
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top