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Is “advocate for” redundant? For example, does one advocate human rights, or advocate for them?
One can advocate something or one can be an advocate for something.
February 16, 2012, 5:43pm
If used as verb it is advocate, if used as noun you advocate for/of something/somebody. For example: I do not advocate the use of violence. An advocate for hospital workers/ advocate of free speech.
February 17, 2012, 7:12am
As state in the previous comments, one is a verb and the other is a noun. You just need be sure that you are pronouncing each term correctly to show the difference.
to advo-KATE = verban advo-KIT = not
(Of course, people's accents might be slightly different... but that's how they each sound in my head!)
February 20, 2012, 8:17pm
Thank you!! I think this whole thing came about in the context of students being self-advocates, which is eventually what we settled on. "Advocating for himself" seems awkward, or "advocating his needs," I think, is just poor grammar. In that case you'd just be speaking on behalf of the needs, not stating them clearly and making them evident. So we said he's a good self-advocate because he articulates his needs appropriately.
February 21, 2012, 6:13am
"Advocate" comes from the Latin "ad" and "vocare" (literally "to call to"). I suppose that one could call to someone for someone else, but the denotation of this word requires that we not employ the redundant "for." To advocate a thing is to be "for" it already, making the idea of advocating "for" something not being for it, but being for whatever is for it.
So, it is always "advocate," never "advocate for" in a verbal form. As a nominative, of course the label is required to indicate to whom an advocate is attached.
April 1, 2013, 2:05pm
The government has been advocating for the community to recycle more. May I use "advocating" without "for"?
May 16, 2014, 11:47pm
May I use "advocating" without "for"?You not only may, you must.
The government has been advocating that the community to recycle more.
May 17, 2014, 1:07am
Hairy Scot,The example you suggest is not only awkward, but grammatically incorrect:"....The government has been advocating that the community to recycle more.....".Read it out loud to yourself...every word. No one speaks like that. Well, I guess you just did. I'll rephrase, any who speaks like that is likely to have a hard time retaining the respect of others. If you are going to advocate for a specific use, you should probably at least read it out loud to make sure it sounds correct, before publishing..'...for the community to recycle more.'or '...that the community recycle more.'
May 22, 2014, 11:15pm
"advocating for" as a phrase has upticked dramatically since 1980 in google books, especially in US English. Whether this is use or misuse, or a shift in the language is debatable.
May 23, 2014, 12:16am
My apologies, I failed to notice the typo.
The "to" which precedes recycle is obviously redundant.
May 23, 2014, 12:37am
As an American who attended grade school in Massachusetts starting in 1949 and received a truly excellent education, the awful decline of correct grammar usage in the US is driving me mad. The nearly universal use of "advocate for," which has become prominent in a very few years, makes me wince whenever I hear it and has me puzzled as to how it developed so quickly and became so common. I've heard rumors (or facts?) that English grammar is no longer being taught in our education system (!) and I can believe it, because I hear so much incorrect usage, both spoken and written. It gives backup to those who advocate the elimination of our federal department of education.
October 31, 2016, 12:44am
In general, the noun/verb distinction is accurate, but not completely so.
If I were a lobbyist, I might say "I advocate lower taxes."
But if the Republican Party retained me (with or without pay) as an advocate for lower taxes, I could say "I am an advocate (noun) for the Republican Party" or "I advocate (verb) for the Republican Party."
January 10, 2017, 11:41am
When the preposition 'for' is used with the verb 'advocate' is would mean 'for the benefit of'. Therefore, the sentence 'She advocates for foster children' is grammatically correct while 'He advocates for lower taxes' is NOT grammatically correct as lower taxes is not the beneficiary.
Please note that just because a usage has become widespread, that does not make it grammatically correct. If so, the sentence 'I seen the movie' would be deemed correct.
February 22, 2017, 11:42pm
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