For the sake of it

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Xavier da Silva, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Hello everyone,

    I'd like to know if the expression "for the sake of it" sounds idiomatic/natural in these two especific contexts.

    1. I'm not teaching for the sake of it. I'm teaching because I love this profession.

    2. They offered for the sake of it. They didn't really want us to work with them.

    For the sake of it definition: if you do something for the sake of it, you do it without actually intending to do. Maybe to impress, make money, etc but without a real/true/sincere intention.


    Thank you very much in advance!
     
  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I'm not sure that you are understanding this phrase, Xavier. Let's start with a dictionary definition:

    ■ (for its own sake or something for something's sake or for the sake of it) indicating something that is done as an end in itself rather than to achieve some other purpose.


    If you teach for the sake of it, you are doing it as an end in itself (say, in contrast to doing it for the money). So in your first sentence, as you are doing it for the love of teaching, you are doing it for the sake of it, or for its own sake.

    I'm afraid your second example doesn't make much sense. Offering someone a job just to offer them a job (which is what "for the sake of it" would mean) doesn't seem like a likely thing to do, and "doing something for the sake of it" does not mean that you don't want to do it—quite the opposite. That is why we use it in the negative when we are exasperated about something, where it means something like "for no reason". This relates to the example above, and here is a good example based on your second sentence:

    "I'm not just offering you a job for the sake of it! I'm offering it to you because I think you are the right person."

    Here's another example:
    "I'm not talking just for the sake of it*! (I'm talking because) I want you to listen and do as I say!" [* for the sake of talking]

    So in this idiom it means "I'm not doing it for fun/for its own sake/to pass the time/for no reason" (etc.); I'm doing it for some other purpose.

    Remember, this idiom is always in the negative. In the positive, it has the dictionary meaning above.
     
  3. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Matching Mole,

    I think I understand it now. Thank you a lot.

    So, in the first example, I should use:

    I'm not teaching just to teach. I'm teaching because I love this profession.

    In the second example, I should use:

    "They offered the job just to offer. They didn't really want us to work with them."


    Am I correct in my conclusion?


    Thank you very much in advance!
     
  4. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    Well, in some ways perhaps. However, neither of these two statement seem to mean much in reality, so they are not good examples. In the first one, isn't teaching for the sake of teaching very similar to doing it because you love teaching?

    In the second one, why would anyone offer something just offer it? That is why we put it in the negative, because there is no reason to do it:
    "I'm not just offering you a job for the sake of it! I'm offering it to you because I think you are the right person."

    The idiom is used for contrast, and "for its own sake" has a limited meaning here, which is boils down to "for no particular reason". "I'm not doing it without a reason ("for the sake of it")—I'm doing it for a particular reason."
     
  5. Xavier da Silva Senior Member

    Portuguese - Brazil
    Matching Mole,

    I understand what you mean. "For the sake of it" really isn't a good option in my examples. But what about the other ones below?: 1 and 2?

    There are some people who work, teach, play, etc but they don't actually enjoy what they do. They keep doing certain activities for money, for a lack of better opportunities or because they resign themselves to the situation. That is the reason why I mentioned the possibility of using:

    1. I'm not teaching just to teach. I love this profession. I'm not in this profession because of a lack of better opportunities, I'm in this profession because I love it.

    2. They offered the job just to offer. They didn't actually want us to work with them.

    ==> There are some people who do and say things just to give the impression that they are good people, to give the impression that they care about you, when, in fact, they don't care about you at all.


    => What do you think? What would you suggest that I say in this case?


    Thank you very much in advance!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
Loading...
Similar Threads - For the sake Forum Date
For the sake of the sake? English Only Sep 19, 2014
for the sake of English Only Sep 10, 2008
for the sake of English Only Sep 9, 2014
for the lavishing's sake English Only Jun 17, 2015
for the sake of English Only Jan 16, 2015

Share This Page

Loading...