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"Seek" vs. "Seek For"

Greetings, English language learners! As you embark on your journey to becoming proficient in English, it's essential to fine-tune your grasp of the language's nuances and subtleties. One such aspect that often perplexes ESL students is the correct usage of the word "seek" and its accompanying preposition "for." In today's English lesson, we will explore the difference between these two forms and help you choose when to use each one.


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1. "Seek" "Seek" is a verb that means to look for, search for, or attempt to find something. It is a versatile word that can stand alone without the preposition "for." This is the preferred and more common usage in contemporary English. For example:

  • She seeks adventure in every corner of the world.

  • The detective seeks clues to solve the mystery.

  • The company is seeking talented individuals to join their team.


2. "Seek For" While "seek" can certainly stand alone, the addition of the preposition "for" after it doesn't necessarily make it incorrect, but it's less common and can sound somewhat formal or old-fashioned. In modern English, it's more common to omit the preposition and simply use "seek." For example:

  • Correct (Modern Usage): He's seeking a solution to the problem.

  • Less Common (Formal or Old-Fashioned): He's seeking for a solution to the problem.



So, Which is Correct? In most cases, it is recommended to use "seek" without the preposition "for" in order to maintain natural and contemporary English language usage. The omission of "for" simplifies the sentence structure and aligns with the preferences of native speakers.

Exceptions: While "seek" without "for" is generally preferred, there are instances when using "seek for" is acceptable or even necessary:

  1. When Emphasis is Needed: Using "seek for" can be a stylistic choice to emphasize the act of searching. However, even in such cases, using "seek" alone is still perfectly fine. They sought in vain for somewhere to shelter.

  2. In Older Texts or Formal Writing: In formal or academic writing, you might encounter "seek for" more frequently. It can lend a slightly more traditional tone to your writing, but be cautious not to overuse it.

In conclusion, as an ESL student aiming to communicate effectively in modern English, it's advisable to primarily use "seek" without the preposition "for." This approach aligns with contemporary language norms and will help you sound more natural in your conversations and writing. However, understanding the nuanced use of "seek for" can also be valuable, especially when encountering older texts or specific contexts that demand a more formal tone.


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Keep up the great work in your language learning journey, and remember that practice and exposure to authentic English contexts will contribute to your mastery of these subtleties over time. Happy learning!




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