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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 5th, 2015, 04:19 am
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Question To/For

- She needs to find a solution to/for her organization problem.

Can both be used in this case? Is there a rule as to when to apply "to" and when "for"?

Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by susan53 : Nov 7th, 2015 at 08:00 am.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 7th, 2015, 12:41 pm
Sue
 
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Default Re: To/For

Here both are possible. But look at the following examples - what do you notice about the underlined words:

1. Chancellor Norman Lamont is expected to announce a SOLUTION to the VAT problem.
2. The SOLUTION to the problem is...
3. ... stated that complete agreement had been reached on a SOLUTION to the crisis created by the elections which left n
4. What's the SOLUTION to social care's staff retention problem?
5. Mr Horn could only obtain the diminution, rather than a SOLUTION, to the problem of the Hungarian minority in Romania
6. ...gifts which enabled him to propose the accepted SOLUTION to a famous controversy.


1. A SOLUTION for Europe's banking problem
2. The “Due Process Guarantee Act” Is a SOLUTION for a Problem That Doesn't Exist.
3.How to Find a SOLUTION for Almost Any Problem
4. A new SOLUTION for Permissions Problems
5. George Clooney has a SOLUTION for Hollywood's gender diversity problem.
6. Treating childhood eczema - a topical SOLUTION for a topical problem.
7. Finding a SOLUTION for 4 key injuries


You should have noticed that for tends to be used when there are potentially several solutions - it occurs frequently with the indefinite article, or in sentences which suggests that this is just one possibility of many - eg (an invented example) : David's solution for the problem was to hire more staff.

to, on the other hand can be used both in this situation and when there is (or the speaker believes there is) one solution only : The solution to two plus two is four. This is why, if you look at the examples, you'll find it used with both the definite and indefinite articles.

It's much rarer (though it does happen) to find examples of the definite article with for - ie The solution for the problem is....

So in your example, which talks about a solution and not the solution, both are possible : She needs to find a solution to/for her organization problem.
If the was used in the same sentence, to would be much more likely.
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  #3 (permalink)  
Unread Nov 11th, 2015, 05:01 am
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Smile Re: To/For

Great answer!

Thanks a lot susan53 for the detailed explanation. It really helps to have so many other examples to compare it with.

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