For vs. because

Hello! How are you feeling?

My question:

Are ?for?and ?because? always interchangeable?

I mean, Can I use ‘for’ instead of
‘because’ in any sentence?

Thanks a lot!


Simple answer: No.

“Why do you ask ?”
“Because I need to know”.

You could not use “for” here.


Both words explain the reason for something. There are two main differences: you don’t start a sentence with for and it is rarely used in speech but usually in the written or literary form.

I went there because I wanted to see the scenery. (written and spoken)

They couldn’t go on holiday this year for they were very short of money. (usually only in written or literary form)


Hi! First of all, many thanks!

Well, I?ve realized that I?ve made a fool of
myself asking such a simple question :oops:
Obviously, I can?t answer with ?for?
to Art?s question.
Maybe I should have asked, for instance,
when ?for? can be used instead of ?because? or something like that.

But, anyway, I am afraid I don?t get it.
Could you explain to me why I can’t use ?for?
in first Alan?s example and why, however,
I can in the second one.

Thanks in advance


:oops: No Jesus, You are not making a fool of yourself.
It is not such a simple question !!

My answer was simple - too simple !! :oops:
I just said “No”, but I did not - could not of the top of my head - say why, which is what you really need to know.

My apologies :cry:

“For” can be used in a different sense meaning “to aquire”:

I went to the shop for some bread.

I went on holidays for a suntan

He went fishing for salmon

Alan, I know one can’t start a sentence with “for”, can you exlpain Why ?


I think we’ve wandered away from the use of for. I am talking about for as a conjunction and not a preposition. As the meaning of for in that sense suggests more of an explanation rather than a reason, it wouldn’t start a sentence since you can’t explain what happens before you know what has happened.

In my example;

the lack of money is an explanation of not going on holiday.


Good afternoon! How is it going?

Thanks both of you!

But, Can’t I use ?for?in your first sentence, Alan?

‘I went there because-for I wanted to see the scenery’

Isn?t “I wanted to see the scenery” the reason
why I went there?

By the way, could you give another example in which I can
use ‘because’ and not ‘for’, and another one in which
I can use both ‘because’ and ‘for’ as conjunctions?
I would appreciate if you give me a good link where I
can find examples which help me understand
this better.

Thanks again!

They couldn’t go on holiday this year,[color=red]because they were very short of money.

Is this sentence right? what is the differences between [color=red]an explanation and a reason,as you say?

Hi Vaok,

I think this getting a bit too sharp for my weary brain but I’ll have a go. They couldn’t … because (that’s the reason they gave) …They couldn’t … for (that’s the explanation I/you/he gave).

Does that help?