Write a letter <to invite> <for inviting>

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Lun-14

Banned
Hindi
Hi
Write a letter to your uncle to invite him on your birthday.

Write a letter to your uncle for inviting him on your birthday.

I understand that
To invite him = in order to invite him.
For inviting him = for the purpose of inviting him.

So I think there is no difference in meaning there, but, despite this, the second sentence with "for inviting" doesn't sound right to me. I am not sure why.:confused:

Could you native speakers please let me know in what situation you would you use the first sentence and in what situation the second one? I am not sure when I should use one but not the other.:(

Thanks a lot
 
  • Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    The second is wrong. The first is correct but not entirely clear. What's it that you want to invite him to? If it's a birthday party you need to say so. Just saying "on your birthday" doesn't make it clear.
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    The second is wrong. The first is correct but not entirely clear. What's it that you want to invite him to? If it's a birthday party you need to say so. Just saying "on your birthday" doesn't make it clear.
    Yes, I mean "birthday party". But could you please explain why the second sentence is wrong?

    I am assuming that they both mean the same and can be used interchangeably...
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    But could you please explain why the second sentence is wrong?
    It's wrong because it's just not used that way - "letter for inviting him".
    I am assuming that they both mean the same and can be used interchangeably...
    As I said, the first sentence is unclear unless there's already been a reference to a party earlier in the conversation. Even then I wouldn't expect to hear "on your birthday" after "invite". I'd expect it to specify what it is he's being invited to. (And you don't need three full stops at the end of a sentence. One is enough.)
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    But could you please explain why the second sentence is wrong?
    "For" has several possible meanings which don't fit your context.
    "For" would often be used to express the reason for the letter.
    I'm writing a letter to your uncle for his birthday. In order to wish him a happy birthday.
    I'm writing a letter to your uncle (in order to thank him) for inviting me to his party.
    I'm writing a letter to your uncle (in order to thank him) for inviting him (himself) to your party. :eek::confused:
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    in order to thank him
    Where do you get the idea that my second sentence tells you this thing? (Though you can see that there's no such implication in this sentence)

    A teacher says to his student: Write a letter to your uncle to invite him (in order to invite him) on your birthday party.

    The above sentence means the same as: Write a letter to your uncle for inviting him (for the purpose of inviting him) on your birthday party.

    ("in order to invite him" and "for the purpose of inviting him" are the same.)

    Please correct me if I am going wrong way.
    Thanks a lot.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    LVRBC

    Senior Member
    English-US, standard and medical
    :cross: Write a letter to your uncle for inviting him (for the purpose of inviting him) on your birthday party.
    This is not correct English usage: "for inviting him". Questions of why are usually not useful in language learning, because usage is what it is.

    :cross:Write a letter to your uncle to invite him (in order to invite him) on your birthday party.
    This will work, however, if you change "on your birthday party" to "to your birthday party."
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    A teacher says to his student: Write a letter to your uncle to invite him (in order to invite him) on your birthday party.

    The above sentence means the same as: Write a letter to your uncle for inviting him (for the purpose of inviting him) on your birthday party.

    ("in order to invite him" and "for the purpose of inviting him" are the same.)
    Yes, "in order to invite him" is the same as "for the purpose of inviting him".They are often interchangeable. But no, "for inviting him" is not the same as "for the purpose of inviting him". They are usually not interchangeable.

    Often two phrases, which are the same in meaning, cannot be used in the same sentences. Test time. Here are two fill-in-the-blank sentence questions, and six answers. I think these six answers "have the same meaning". But which can be used in these sentences?

    1. You write a letter to your uncle ______ to your birthday party.
    2. Your uncle writes a letter back, thanking you_______ to your birthday party.

    A) inviting him
    B) to invite him
    C) for inviting him
    D) whose purpose is to invite him
    E) for the purpose of inviting him
    F) in order to invite him

    Answer:

    In sentence 1, A or B are natural (idiomatic). D, E and F are awkward but acceptable. C is unacceptable.

    In sentence 2, C is natural (idiomatic). None of the others are acceptable: after "thanking you" we need "for X".
     

    anahiseri

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain) and German (Germany)
    This is how I explain the difference between for + ....ing and to + verb to my students:

    for example: for taking pictures - to take pictures

    you use the first expression to explain what you use something for:
    A camera is used for taking pictures. But never to express why somebody does something. In this case, its "to take":
    He went lo the city to take pictures.

    This is probably not a complete explanation, but it should help you.
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    Thanks for your answer, dojibear.
    I am still having difficulty why "for verbing" cannot be the same as "for the purpose of verbing/in order to verb". Could you give me some grammatical explanation why they don't mean the same?

    I have some different sentences. Please take a look:

    My teacher says to me,
    Write a letter to dojibear (California) to ask him/for asking him whether he can help you with your English sentences.

    Write a letter to dojibear (California) to inform him/for informing him that he has won $5,000.

    People (from all over the world) come to English Only Forum to learn/for learning English.

    The police have arrived at the shopping mall to arrest/for arresting the criminal.

    As I have said, I want to know why the versions with "for verbing" above are not correct. Please explain as per the grammar.

    Thanks a lot
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    The "for" part is incorrect, in the four examples in #10.

    I found this web page that explains this situation: English Grammar: Gerunds and Infinitives for Purpose | English Teacher Melanie

    The last part of that article describes the use you are asking about. I guess this is "the grammar rule". I've copied it below:

    Here’s where it gets confusing:
    You can still use for + noun to talk about the purpose of someone, but the noun CANNOT be a gerund:

    Why did you buy a box of chocolates?
    I bought a box of chocolates for my husband.
    I bought a box of chocolates to give my husband.
    NOT: I bought a box of chocolates for give my husband.
    NOT: I bought a box of chocolates for giving my husband.
     

    Lun-14

    Banned
    Hindi
    To add, I don't think there's any grammatical mistake in the sentence below:

    but it's not correct usage.
    You're confusing me. dojibear in his #11 has said that such sentences (with "for verbing") are incorrect.

    If you're saying it is "incorrect usage", you should explain why it is. :)
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    The reason usage of certain phrases is incorrect is because they are not used that way. In this context, "to invite him" is idiomatic, while "for inviting him" is not. That page Dojibear linked to explains what the normal usage is.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I assume that the speaker is telling someone to write a letter to their uncle, and that the letter will say
    “Dear Uncle,
    Please come to my birthday party on 24th May.”

    You should bear in mind that “to” always expresses some sort of motion or change: (He went to town/ The light changed from blue to red.”)

    For, has several meaning:
    (i) For the purpose of/ in order to – use the saw for cutting wood.”
    (ii) For the benefit of -> This present is for you.”
    (iii) On behalf of -> “Can you do this for me?”
    (iv) During the time of/until (time)f -> He has gone. We will not see him for 4 days
    (v) Other meanings.

    The next problem is “on your birthday”; it should be “to your birthday party” -> you are invited to an event. (Note the motion -> you go to the party.)

    Therefore we can see that neither sentence is idiomatic and both are, in fact, wrong.

    Write a letter to your uncle to invite him on your birthday.
    Write a letter to your uncle for inviting him on your birthday.
    Write a letter to your uncle [in order] to invite him to your birthday party. :tick:

    Write a letter for your uncle [in order] to invite him to your birthday party.
    is possible, but not useful in this context.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I am still having difficulty why "for verbing" cannot be the same as "for the purpose of verbing/in order to verb". Could you give me some grammatical explanation why they don't mean the same?
    It is not a "grammatical difference" it is a "semantic difference."

    It is a mistake to think that "for verbing" cannot be the same as "for the purpose of verbing/in order to verb". It can be: see
    For, has several meaning:
    (i) For the purpose of/ in order to – use the saw for cutting wood.”
    The fact is that "for verbing"="for the purpose of verbing/in order to verb" does not always mean the same as "for the purpose of verbing/in order to verb".
    (iv) During the time of/until (time) -> He has gone. We will not see him for 4 days
    etc.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    I think 'saw for cutting wood' = 'a noun for verbing' looks similar to 'letter for inviting', but it isn't.

    A tool is generally usable/designed for the purpose, not as a one-off.
    That kind of purpose is different from the purpose a human has doing something, which is in this context one-off.

    I (sang) to impress my next-door neighbours.:tick:
    I (bought a weapon) to kill my next-door neighbours.:tick:
    I (bought a weapon for killing whales) to impress my next-door neighbours.:tick:
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbours.:cross:Edit: see the next post.

    I wrote a template of a letter for inviting uncles to birthday parties to make it easier for Lun to invite her uncle to her birthday party.:tick: (I think)
     
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    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbours.:cross:
    As I said above,
    Write a letter for your uncle [in order] to invite him to your birthday party. is possible, but not useful in this context.
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbours. is possible:
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbours and another one for killing rats. In which for = to be used for/that I will use for/that I will employ in, etc.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Thanks PaulQ,
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbours. is possible:
    Is this also possible with limited amount of neighbours?
    I bought a weapon for killing my next-door neighbour Tom.
     

    taked4700

    Senior Member
    japanese japan
    Thank you, Dojibear and Anahiseri.

    The link Dojibear gave is very helpful and it states the same thing that Anahiseri pointed out in post 9.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Yes, but the link states the existence of construction like: This saw is for cutting wood, but doesn't mention This is a saw for cutting wood.
    I bought a box of chocolates for giving my husband. Not Ok
    but
    I bought a weapon for killing my husband. - Ok

    Perhaps there is some thing about the recipient being at advantage/disadvantage...:confused:
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    It seems to me that for is a preposition and requires a noun phrase to follow it; giving my husband is, in this context, a verbal phrase.
     

    siares

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    It seems to me that for is a preposition and requires a noun phrase to follow it; giving my husband is, in this context, a verbal phrase.
    I looked up the difference between the general noun phrase and a gerund but am none the wiser. Are you talking about a noun phrase as distinct from a gerund? If you mean gerund, they are, according to a number of thread on my/me verbing, very similar to verb phrases...

    Does 'give (to)' work for repeated giving?
    This is candy for giving trick-or-treaters, don't eat it!
    I bought the chocolate (1000 pieces) for giving my husband every Christmas, it is going off the market soon.


    And does 'killing' work for a thing whose pre-defined purpose is not killing?
    I hired a clown for killing my husband. (he has weak heart and clown-phobia).
    The Germans wrote a joke for killing the British. (Monty Pythons)

    Thank you.
     
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