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Word combinations with the preposition for

It is not always easy to know which preposition to use after a particular noun, verb or adjective. Here is a list of nouns, adjectives and verbs that are followed by the preposition for.

Anxious for (= eager to have)

We are anxious for an end to this misunderstanding.

Congratulate for

I congratulated him for winning the championship.

Note that congratulate can also be followed by on.

I congratulated him on having won the first prize.

Pay for something that is bought.

I will pay for your drinks. (NOT I will pay your drinks.)

Reason for

Nobody knows the reason for the mishap.

Responsible for / responsibility for

Who is responsible for this?

Search for (= look for)

The police are searching for suspected drug traffickers.

When search is used without for it means ‘look in one’s pockets, bags etc’.

The police searched everybody’s luggage but couldn’t find anything suspicious.

Sorry for something that one has done

I am sorry for interrupting you.

Note that sorry can also be followed by about.

I am sorry about breaking your window.

Sorry for a person

I felt sorry for him. (NOT I felt sorry about him.)

A check for (amount of money)

I gave her a check for $60.

Demand for

Although it was a good product, there wasn’t enough demand for it.

Need for something

There is no need for such a law.

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