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Hi,

I got this extract from cnn.com.

"Farris' parents are from Iraq but left for the United States decades ago, and he speaks no Arabic."

1- Why is it "left for the U.S" not "left to the U.S"?
2- Can we also say here, "went for the United States decades ago"?

Thanks.
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Comments  
"For" can also mean "towards", "in the direction of". You can't say "went for" because "go for" is a phrasal verb that has already its meanings (suck as "attack", "choose", etc...)
I see. Thanks. But is "he left to the U.S", in this context, considered wrong?
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No, it's not wrong at all. "To" indicates direction, and is even more precise than "for".
And is this sentence correct:
I had received a lot of job offers from different countries. However, I went for France because it's close to my homeland.
Hello

Being an English (UK) speaker the preposition 'to' with verb 'to leave' does not sound correct. I would say, 'I left to go to the US'. What I have done in my sentence was to add the inifitive 'to go' + preposition 'to' to form the phrasal verb.

These are valid:

to leave out - exclude

"There was an error in his passage which needs to be left out."

to leave off - cease

"I wish you would leave off; he is tired of your complaining"
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Yes, but it means "I chose France", not that you actually went to France.
ok, so to sum up:

If I moved from one country to another, the process would be:

1- I left for France.
OR
2- I went to France.

WHEREAS:
> 'I went for France' means 'I chose France', not necessarily already have traveled there.
> 'I left to France' is not correct in British English.

Any corrections?
Katarina"Farris' parents are from Iraq but left for the United States decades ago, and he speaks no Arabic."
1- Why is it "left for the U.S" not "left to the U.S"?
2- Can we also say here, "went for the United States decades ago"?

Hello Katarina

I guess what you are inquisitive about is the difference between "to" and "for" in the meaning of direction or destination. Right?

To understand the difference, let's compare:
(EX-1) Hans took a train to Berlin.
(EX-2) Hans took a train for Berlin.
EX-1 strongly suggests Hans actually arrived at Berlin by the train. "To Berlin" is an adverbial phrase to depict a whole process of the action "take a train". On the other hand, EX-2 does not necessarily suggests Hans actually arrived at Berlin. "For Berlin" is an adverbial phrase to depict the purpose of the action "take a train". In another words, we may take "for Berlin" as an adverbial indicating only the destination intended at the time when the movement starts.

Theoretically you might be allowed to say "go for Berlin". But "go for a place" is not idiomatic, though "go for a purpose" is quite colloquial as seen "go for a walk". You might ask why "go for Berlin" is not idiomatic. I don't know the exact reason, but I feel it might be because "go" is a verb used to mean a process of movement rather than a start of movement. On the other hand, "leave to Berlin" is not idiomatic. It might be because "leave" (=quit) is a verb used to mean a start of movement.

paco
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