Hello, experts?

How are you? I want to say 'Thank you' for your clear answer and help whenever I asked for it, first of all.

This time I am back with 'aspire for'.

Dictionary says that the preposition you use after the verb 'aspire' is either 'to' or 'after'.

Then what about the following sentence?

"As competition for admission has intensified, the adolescent years of children who aspire to top colleges (or whose parents aspire for them) have become a battleground of fevered striving - a highly scheduled, pressure-packed, stress-inducing regime of Advanced Placement courses, private college counselors, SAT tutors, athletic and other extracurricular activities, internships and good deeds in distant lands designed to impress college admission committees- all supervised by anxious hyper-parents seeking the best for their kids."

My understanding is that them in aspire for them refers to 'top colleges'.

If that's the case, there would be no difference between 'aspire to' and 'aspire for'.

But if it's not the case, part of me thinks 'them' could refer to 'their children'.

Which one is it? Could you clarify the meaning of 'aspire for them' in this sentence?

Thank you for reading. I'll be looking forward to your reply. Thank you.

hohokMy understanding is that them in aspire for them refers to 'top colleges'.

Nope. The writer went out on a limb, and it creaked. "Them" is the children. The parents aspire on their behalf. I tripped over it on first reading same as you did. It is a permissible but infelicitous variation that you should forget immediately.


The parents aspire [for (the benefit of) their children ] to top colleges.

It's still "aspire to", but another phrase is inserted which has no effect on the grammar of "aspire to".

In my opinion a person can't really aspire (to something) for someone else, so the thought here is a bit fanciful. You probably won't find this combination again for quite a few years.


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I appreciate your time and thoughtful comment. It was a big help and it got me thinking more about "Can people aspire for someone else to something?", as well. Hope you have a good day.

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Thank you very much for your great answer. I actually enjoyed reading your comment.

"The writer went out on a limb, and it creaked." I read this aloud many times to myself.

Then I hoped that there would be some day I could say the same "The writer...... creaked." for kind of a similar case.

Thanks again. Hope you have a good day.