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useful (to/for) me

hirashin

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Dear native English speakers,
Do you use either (a) or (b)?
(a) Is this useful to me?
(b) Is this useful for me?

Hirashin
 

johnnyG

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As written, both are okay.

The common explanation is that something is useful to a person, and that something is useful for doing something.

If I hammer a lot of nails, a hammer is useful to me--that hammer is useful (to me) for hammering nails, and an alternative version is "useful for me (to hammer nails). A common ...for...to... construction, and the last part is elided/implied.

That seems to work with personal pronouns.

Note tho:
The basket is useful for picnics.
*The basket is useful to picnics.
 

Wynot

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Dear native English speakers,
Do you use either (a) or (b)?
(a) Is this useful to me?
(b) Is this useful for me?

Hirashin
Both can be used, but context can make one more appropriate than the other. It would be useful for me to understand your context. Knowing your context would be useful to me.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help, Lothor, johnnyG and Wynot.

It seems you can use "useful for me".

The common explanation is that something is useful to a person, and that something is useful for doing something.
Yes, I thought that "useful to (a person)" and "useful for (doing something)" were correct. But I saw "useful for me" somewhere and wondered if it is correct or not.

Hirashin
 

hirashin

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I have a further question.

Which would be appropriate, for or to?
Universal design products are useful [ for / to ] everyone.

Hirashin
 

noyhauser

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Hi. Like the first question, both are generally acceptable, however for would probably be a more appropriate word to use in certain cases. If the surrounding sentences was more about the universal design process, then for is a better word. However if the surrounding statements were more about you... then To is a more appropriate word.
 
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hirashin

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Hi, noyhauser.
Hi. Like the first question, both are generally acceptable, however for would probably be a more appropriate word to use in certain cases. If the surrounding sentences was more about the universal design process, then for is a better word. However if the surrounding statements were more about you... then To is a more appropriate word.
Thanks for the interesting comment. It's really hard for a non-native English speaker like me to use the appropriate preposition. But your explanation is a clue which word I should use. .
 

noyhauser

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No problem. For some of these, just looking at one sentence doesn't help; you really need to understand the context which it sits in. English is one of the more difficult languages to learn because there are so many exceptions and special circumstances that don't conform to any rules, and must be learned on a case by case basis.
 

Wynot

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I have a further question.

Which would be appropriate, for or to?
Universal design products are useful [ for / to ] everyone.

Hirashin
In this context, my choice would be that Universal design products are useful to everyone. Keep in mind that most native English speakers struggle with word choices all the time. The answers you receive here are, for the most part, going to be based less on rules of language and grammar and more on the respondent's own speech patterns. This can be valuable, as it can teach you what is conversationally typical but, it may or may not be grammatically correct.
 

hirashin

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Thank you for your help and advice, Wynot.
Yes. I know that most native Engl;ish speakers are not so familiar with English grammar just as native Japanese speakers don't know much about Japanese grammar. I often post here because I'd like to know how native English speakers use their own language. So each comment is precious to me, even if some are different from what grammar books say.

I'm really thankful to all the people who help me.

Hirashin
 
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