Question from Lucy, asked on 13 Mar, 2018

How to know if we should use “за” or “для”?

I would like to understand how to know if we should use "за" or "для", because in the following examples they both are translated as "for": Я пришла за тобой. - I came for you. Это для тебя. - This is for you. Thank you for your reply.
1 answer
Answered by Yulia on 14 Mar, 2018

Hi! In this case two different prepositions are used because they mean two different things.

Для is used when an object or also something abstract is directed to somebody. It is used with the Genitive case.

Подарок для папы. A present for Dad.
Компьютер для Сергея. A computer for Sergey.

За is used with the Instrumenal case here. When you use this preposition with verbs of motion, it means "to come somewhere to take something".

Я пришёл за тобой.
I came for you, I came to take you with me.

Мы зашли в магазин за хлебом.
We entered the shop to buy some bread.

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