Are you confused yet: For, Four, Fore

Can it be more confusing when trying to explain the word ‘for’ to those learning English as a second language, when all variations sound the same?

Let’s try…

For, a preposition if you want to get technical, well  this one is probably one of the more interesting variations, and can be used,

He was done for, meaning  there was no hope for saving his life

For he’s a jolly good fellow, though we may sing it, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true

Basically, it can be best described as,

Intended to belong with or using in connection with or suiting the purposes or needs of.


And, as a preposition, its use is endless, just look it up on the internet.

As a prefix, well, let’s not go down that path and move on,

Four, this is the easiest of all the variations as it simply represents the number

Fore, oh yeah, now we can open the can of worms, or is it Pandora’s box

The best way to describe this variation is that it can be a prefix, one that stresses the fact that something is near the front

For example,

He was standing in the foreground, which means there was a backdrop behind him, hopefully, a pretty landscape, not a rubbish dump


Then alternatively,

I heard the word ‘fore’ yelled very loudly just before the golf ball landed inches from my foot.

Another close shave, or near death experience.

I thought, and it seems incorrect, that going golfing was meant to be fun, not the equivalent of walking onto a battlefield, dodging golf balls to the frantic screams of ‘fore’.

It can also be used in a nautical sense by referring to the front and back or a ship/boat/vessel as fore for the front and aft for the back.

I doubt a captain would tell a sailor to go to the fore of the ship when he could better explain it with a bow, or just plain front, but where’s the fun in that?

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