Want you to or want for you to

yalewale posted:

Hi, I want to know whether these expressions are correct and if they mean the same thing:

1. I'd like for you to study law. 

2. I'd like you to study law.


Thank you so much. 

Hi, Yalewale,

Yes, but the first one is informal and is basically an American usage. Fowler in "The New Fowlers Modern English Usage", page 460, states that:

"2. like for + complement. This use (not in the OED) seems not to have spread its wings outside America. Examples: He told Highridge he would like for the writer ...to be his guest for dinner--T. Wolfe, 1987: I'd like very much for you to meet him—New Yorker, 1988. The Amer. Dialect Diet. (1944) lists examples from 1888 to 1943, mostly from southern States, but it is not so regionally restricted now."

Also,  you can see Rachel's comment on the same topic here:


Please, notice that she accepted the grammaticality of 'for' with 'very much'.

I think American English applies the same rule with many other verbs. One of them is 'want', by the way.

ahmed_btm posted:

Please, notice that she accepted the grammaticality of 'for' with 'very much'.

Rachel not only accepted the grammaticality of "would like for X to" when very much comes after "would like"; she said that "for" is needed in that case, and that is absolutely right. It would actually be ungrammatical to omit "for" in that case: *"I would like very much you to join us."

The fact that that is ungrammatical shows that the use of "for" in "would like for you to" is perfectly grammatical, even if it is less common (worldwide) and some dictionaries wish to describe it as informal or American. There is nothing wrong with "would like for you to."

"For" is just a non-finite complementizer in that construction, just as "that" is a finite complementizer in phrases like "She said that [sentence]." In generative grammar, the "for" appears in deep structure, even if it doesn't  in surface structure. It optionally deletes, except when it's obligatory!

Thanks so much, everyone. I'm so happy to be back here. From what I read, it seems Rachel isn't on the site any longer. Those months I was without a browsing phone I must have missed a lot. 

Thanks again for the quick responses. I always like this site. 





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