cater/provide for their old age

makeeverything

Senior Member
chinese-english
Nowadays many people save money to _ for their old age. The source is from my exercise books. The key here is "provide". But I don't think so. I think here "cater" can also meet the need in the sentence here. In my poor opinion, "cater for" has the meaning of "to provide what is required or desire" and here we can interpret the sentence as the meaning: Many people save money to provide what they need when they are too old to earn money in their old age. It seems that it can make sense, isn't it?
 
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I can cater for (provide for) someone else's needs, but I wouldn't say I save money to cater for my own needs.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, it does make perfect sense. However, we would most likely say 'provide', not 'cater'. I think the important point is that 'cater' is for the needs of a relatively short situation, something that happens and is then finished, whereas 'provide' can apply to a long stretch of the future. A country might provide for its future water needs, or for an ageing population.
     
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