explain it for us

  • kayokid

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Hello. In my mind I see two different scenarios here. "For us" means, for example, person A is explaining something to person B for persons C and D. "To us" means person A is explaining it to persons C and D. Persons C and D requested that he (person A) do this. Does that make any sense?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "Explain it for us" could be asking one person to explain something to a person outside their group on behalf of the group.

    For example, some American tourists are traveling together in France and get into some sort of trouble with the police. They nominate the best French speaker in their group to handle the explanation:

    "You speak French better than the rest of us put together. Explain it for us."

    "Explain it to us" is a request to a particular person to explain it to your group (whoever is included in the group "us").
     

    Primal

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Yes, yes. I hadn't thought of this. Yeah, what kayokid and JamesM are saying about "for us" is definitly true. "Explain it for us" is asking someone to do your job of explaining for you. "Explain it to us" is asking someone to help you to understand something.
     
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