General Writing and Grammar Help/TO me - FOR me

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Question
Dear Ted:

When introducing an opinion, Should I use "FOR me,....." or "TO me,....."?

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Could you please give me some examples?

Thank you very much for the help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

When introducing an opinion, Should I use "FOR me,....." or "TO me,....."?

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

If not, when should I use each of them?

*** They are basically interchangeable, but, as usual, which one you choose depends upon the context and how natural the phrase sounds.

Look at these examples:

Abortion, FOR ME, is a very personal issue.

If you are asking for my opinion, then I will explain what the poem means TO ME.

The United Nations, in my opinion, is a worthless organization.  [I would substitute "TO ME" for the words "in my opinion."]  

A basic rule, with occasional exceptions, is that TO ME refers to general statements or opinions.  However, FOR ME is much more personal.

EXAMPLE:  That song has a special meaning FOR ME.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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