Answer to English Grammar Question 90

The phrase, "for free", is heard a lot these days. It seems like bad usage to me. What is the grammatical explanation?

From member: Ken Williams in USA


Answer

You are right that this is a redundant prepostion. It could be that people confuse it with 'for nothing' - 'You can get them for nothing' - which is correct. However, as you have remarked, the use of 'for free' is creeping into our usage. Time will tell if it becomes an accepted usage but for the moment you can safely say that the preposition is redundant and therefore 'free' should be used without 'for', e.g., 'buy one and get one free' rather than ' buy one and get one for free'.



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