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azz
Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 3:54:50 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/2014
Posts: 317
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a. This book is useful for you to understand the basic concepts of physics.
b. This book is useful for you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.
c. This book is useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.
d. This book will be useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.


Are these sentences grammatically correct?

Many thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 11:00:12 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 12,233
Neurons: 60,694
azz wrote:
a. This book is useful for you to understand the basic concepts of physics.
b. This book is useful for you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.
c. This book is useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.
d. This book will be useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics.


Are these sentences grammatically correct?

Many thanks.


b. looks odd and sounds strange because it used "for" two times. All the others sound very natural.

Each tends to use "for" and "to" with specific meanings.
"for" designates something done or created on your behalf, or your benefit. So b sounds strange because it say the book is beneficial for you as it is beneficial for you understanding the basic concepts of physics. That repeats the idea of beneficial.

"to" usually shows the purpose, or who is in mind in creating something.

a. This book is useful for you to understand the basic concepts of physics. This book has a benefit for you. Its purpose is to help you understand the basic concepts of physics.

c. This book is useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics. This book was created with a purpose: to be useful to you. The benefit of it is for you to better understand the basics of physics.

d. This book will be useful to you for understanding the basic concepts of physics. This one has the same sense as c.

Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 11:24:29 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/12/2011
Posts: 33,165
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Location: Livingston, Scotland, United Kingdom
FounDit's right.
However, like his dislike of the "for . . . for" structure of (b), I find (a) and (c) slightly "unnatural but not incorrect".
(d) sounds good.

I would probably (if I were speaking without thinking) have the two major parts separated as clauses, and say something more like:
This book will be useful to you; it'll help you understand the basic concepts of physics.
This book will be useful to you. It teaches the basic concepts of physics.

or maybe just use "in"
This book will be useful to you in understanding the basic concepts of physics.
Romany
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 12:47:03 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/2009
Posts: 16,057
Neurons: 50,893
Location: Brighton, England, United Kingdom

Agree with Drago's post and, to show perhaps, WHY we differ from FD: it helps also to explain why different posters give different answers: -

I re-read sentence b) 4 (FOUR!) times before I came across the second "for". Although it's not a good idea to use the same word twice in a sentence, to me that refers to vocabulary choices for adjectives or nouns.

Prepositions - again:to me - don't come under that preference/advice.

They're often referred to as the "work-horses" of the English language as they play a more important part in understanding what's being said than any other class of words.

But I tend to think of them as "nails" : they pin the wood (words) to the basic structure (sentence) in order to make something useful/understandable of a miscellaneous collection of materials like random window frames, or cladding or decoration. Or verbs, nouns and adjectives.

And no-one ever notices the nails which hold our homes together! So, I expect, one just doesn't notice the plethora of prepositions which shore up our language.
(Unless they are being used incorrectly!)

"Different strokes for different folks." (attributed to Muhammed Ali)
azz
Posted: Saturday, November 16, 2019 11:37:40 PM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 5/15/2014
Posts: 317
Neurons: 3,640
Thank you all very much!

I really appreciate your contributions!

I have to say that I said something like (a). It sounded very natural to me, but I suddenly started having doubts about it. Then I thought of this sentence:

e. This book is useful to understand the basic concepts of physics.


Does that sound correct?

It doesn't sound correct to me. I think you need 'for understanding'.

I am not sure at all, but if (e) is not correct, then can (a) be correct? Maybe... And maybe (e) is correct...

Many thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Sunday, November 17, 2019 10:54:45 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 12,233
Neurons: 60,694
azz wrote:
Thank you all very much!

I really appreciate your contributions!

I have to say that I said something like (a). It sounded very natural to me, but I suddenly started having doubts about it. Then I thought of this sentence:

e. This book is useful to understand the basic concepts of physics.


Does that sound correct? Yes, you can say it this way, and it would be understood. There are some parts that would be understood by a native speaker. As I mentioned above, the sense is that there is a goal - to understand the basic concepts of physics. To that end, the book is useful. The parts that a native would understand might be like this:

This book is useful to [you, to help you] understand the basic concepts of physics.

The part in red would not be needed to be said. It would be understood, although it would be perfectly fine to say them.

It doesn't sound correct to me. I think you need 'for understanding'.

I am not sure at all, but if (e) is not correct, then can (a) be correct? Maybe... And maybe (e) is correct...

Many thanks.
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