The English preposition for has several meanings, each of which is represented by a separate preposition in Russian. This page discusses the different meanings of the English preposition and associates those meanings with the corresponding Russian preposition and case.
1. Recipient (Experiencer) = Dative case alone
|To indicate the recipient of an object or condition, in either the concrete or abstract sense, use the dative case alone. |
|купить себе новую шляпу.||buy a new hat for oneself.|
|подарок мальчику.||gift for a boy.|
|письмо тебе.||a letter to/for you.|
|Холодно мне.||It's cold to/for me.|
2. Benefit = для + Genitive
|To express "for" in the sense of "for the benefit of", use the preposition для plus the genitive case. |
|Она сделала это для меня.||She did that for me.|
|Он открыл дверь для тёти.||He opened the door for his aunt.|
3. Exchange/Replacement = за + Accusative
|If for means "in exchange for something)" or "in place of someone", use за and the accusative case.
|Спасибо за помощь.
||Thanks for the help.
|Плати за билеты.
||Pay for the tickets.
|Он дал учебник за словарь.||He swapped his text for a dictionary.|
|Он это сделал за меня.||He did that for (instead of) me.|
4. Temporal "for" (Duration of Action) = Accusative case alone
|If the phrase meaning "for" indicates of the duration of the action referred to by the verb or the repetition of the action, use the accusative case alone.|
|Она читала три часа.||She read (for) three hours.|
|Он работал там два месяца.||He worked there (for) two months.|
5. Temporal "for" (Duration after Action) = на + Accusative
|To indicate the duration of a period of time occurring after the completion of the action referred to by the verb, use на plus the accusative case.|
|Он поехал в Москву на неделю.||He drove to Moscow for a week.|
|Она вышла на минуту.||She went out for a minute.|
|Его послали туда на день.||He was sent there for a day.|
6. "To get" = за + Instrumental
|Where 'for' means 'to get' in the sense that 'he went for the newspaper' means 'he went to get the newspaper', use за plus the instrumental case in Russian. |
|Она вышла за газетой.||She went out for (to get) a paper.|
|Он заехал за мной.||He stopped by for me.|
|Он пошел за бензином.||He went for (to get) gasoline.|
|For in the sense of support, e.g. I'm for peace means "I support peace", where for is the antonym of against, use за plus the accusative case. |
|Я за всеобщее разоружение.||I'm for general disarmament.|
|Я не против него.||I'm not against it.|
8. "For" in setting a deadline = на + Accusative
For in the sense of a deadline or due date is expressed by на+Acc.
|задание на завтра||the assignment for tomorrow|
|мой план на лето||my plan(s) for the summer|
Now that you have studied the rules and examples, let's see how well you can detect the various sense of English for in Russian.
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1996 Robert Beard