Hello! This week
on Ask a Teacher, we will answer a question from Maria, a teacher from
Brazil, about the difference between TO ME and FOR ME.
If I am asking a student to read in class, should I say “to me” or “for me?” I
would like to know which one is correct:
Could you read it TO ME?
or Could you read it FOR ME?
Thanks a lot, Maria.
should I say?:
Maria, Thank you for writing to us. Both of these questions can be correct. The
choice of TO ME or FOR ME depends on the meaning you would like to express. In
the examples you sent us, TO and FOR are both used as prepositions.
for writing to us: por escribirnos (después de una preposición el verbo
suele llevar el gerundio ING); both: ambas, las dos; depends ON:
depende DE (al verbo "depend" le sigue la preposición ON (no OF); you sent us:
(que) nos enviaste;
Prepositions are a word or group of words that is used with a noun, pronoun, or
noun phrase to show physical direction, location, time, or to introduce an
object. TO and FOR in the examples you sent are used to introduce an object, but
the meanings are different. We will take a closer look at these differences.
noun phrase: frase
nominal o sustantivada; to introduce: para presentar o introducir;
take a closer look: analizar más de cerca;
TO is used to show the physical direction of an action. But in your example,
the use slightly changes.
the use slightly changes:
el uso cambia ligeramente;
Could you read it TO
¿ME LO podrías leer?
In your example, TO is used to show who the action of reading is directed
towards. The object of the preposition is ME, receiving the action of reading.
It is like asking:
who the action is
directed towards: a quien está dirigida a acción; it is like asking:
es como preguntar;
Could you direct your reading TOWARDS ME?
¿Podrías dirigir tu lectura HACIA MÍ?
You could have also said:
you could have also said:
también podrías haber dicho;
Could you read it TO US?
¿Podrías leerlo PARA NOSOTROS?
In this example US would be "the whole class".
US would be the whole
class: A NOSOTROS se refiere a "toda la clase;
of FOR can have many meanings.
Could you read it FOR ME?
¿Podrías leerlo EN MI NOMBRE / EN MI LUGAR?
The preposition of FOR in this example means “in place of,” “to help,” or “on
behalf of”. ME is again the object of the preposition. So, instead of you
reading a story, you are asking the student to read a story in place of you or
to help you by reading it.
on behalf of (someoe):
en lugar o reemplazo de (una persona); instead of you reading: en lugar
de que tú leas; in place of you: en tu lugar;
If something is
directed TOWARDS YOU and you are receiving the action, use TO ME.
directed towards you:
dirigido hacia ti; use TO ME: utiliza la expresión EN MI LUGAR;
Could you bring my science book TO ME?
¿Podrías TRAERME mi libro de ciencias?
Here you are asking someone to bring your book to you. You will receive it
and take it with you.
pidiéndole a alguien; to bring your book to you: que te traiga o lleve tu
But if you ask...
but if you ask: pero
si tú preguntas...;
Could you bring my science book FOR ME?
¿Podrías traer mi libro de ciencias POR MÍ?
(¿Podrías alcanzarme mi libro de ciencias?)
... you are requesting that someone brings your book in place of you bringing it.
They will take it with them to class, instead of you taking it.
you are requesting that
someone: estás solicitando que alguien; brings your book: traiga tu
libro; in place of you bringing it: en lugar de traerlo tú mismo/a;
FOR ME is used if you are asking someone to do something on behalf of you, in
place of you doing it, or to help you.
on behalf of you: en
tu nombre, en reemplazo tuyo.
And that’s Ask a Teacher. I’m Faith Pirlo.