English Grammar


to (me) vs for (me)

Here are 3 statements.
(1) I have him as a master.
(2) He is as a master to me.
(3) He is like a master for me.
(4) He is like a master to me.


Don't you think (1) and (2) are two different ways telling the same?


To my mind, (3) has another meaning. As he is 'like a master' means that his behaviour, his position towards me look like the ones a master would have; but he is not my master.


My key question is about (4).
Has (4) exactly the same meaning as (3) ?
Or does 'to me' refer to my opinion? such as in this structure: '(According) to me, he is like a master.'


Thanks in advance.

2 comments

  • I have a decisive opinion about this.


    (1) and (2) have nothing to do with each other.


    (1) expresses the fact that he was assigned to me as my master. He is my master, I accepted it, regardless whether I asked for it or not.
    (2) Doesn't make any sense to me. This construction sounds unfamiliar to me, even weird, faulty at best. Maybe anybody knows better.
    (3) means 'in my opinion, he is my master. I see him as my master and I also want him as my master, even though he is not my master.'
    (4) means 'he behaves toward me as if he was my master, even though he is not my master. '


    Maybe case (3) and (4) appear more comprehensible if we put them into something positive:


    (3) He is like a father for me = I consider him as my father and I enjoy it. I wish he could be my real father.
    (4) He is like a father to me = He behaves as if he was my father. We can assume this is meant positively and his fatherly behaviour is appreciated.


    Sorry for this short statement, but I don't see any way to go into further detail. For me, the case seems clear. Maybe I'm mistaken, if anybody can prove me wrong.
  • Hell's bells! What an idea I had, marking the sentences with a figure between brackets. I should have used bullets, or better, square boxes so as to make the list look like a GymGlish exercise. And I would have got 75% marks, sentence (2) shining bright red, being told false because unfamiliar, weird and faulty.


    Sharp head, you Whacky! What a boon you are for every GG forum regulars! You are like a teacher for everyone, and as a last resort you are there to help anyone. You are an expert generously helping the needy. Be you sincerely thanked, Whacky.


    I am proud to think like you about sentence (4). It can't be taken as being the same as 'To me, he is like a master', the latter meaning 'To my mind, he resembles a master.' (Just what everyone down here thinks about the Whacky.)


    I should be ashamed for having written sentence (2). If I am not, it's just because I am a screwball.
    But nonetheless I won't say any longer that you are (**) a master to me. I'll say you are a master to me. If you don't speak as the class teacher, you speak like a master for any regular down this forum. That's groovy, groovy.

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