Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Apply to, Apply for, and Apply with

Apply to, Apply for, and Apply with




How does one know which of these three idioms to use?

Does an undergraduate apply for a graduate program or to it?
Does a job applicant apply to a company or with it?

The following examples illustrate mistaken use of “apply for” and “apply with” in contexts calling for “apply to”:

Winston is applying for the teaching program at Harvard.
Interested in applying with the world’s largest retailer?
Customer Service Careers | Apply with DISH

apply to
This is the idiom to use when you are putting yourself forward as a candidate for something such as a course of study, or a job. You apply to graduate school. You apply to a company for employment. You apply to a bank’s loan department for a loan.

apply for
This is the expression to use if your intention is to obtain something. You apply for scholarship money. You apply for admission. You apply for a job.

apply with
The word with in this idiom implies agency, the means “by which” you apply. You can apply with the click of a mouse. You can apply with a printed application. You can apply with a program like Compass, or a service like Monster.

The correct usage for the three examples given above:

Winston is applying to the teaching program at Harvard.
Interested in applying to the world’s largest retailer?
Customer Service Careers | Apply to DISH

Here are some other uses of the verb apply, with and without dependent prepositions:

apply paint to a surface
apply ointment to a wound
apply oneself to one’s studies
apply a cause to a quarrel
apply a remedy to a problem
apply a rule to a situation
apply pressure to a wound
apply pressure to a person
apply one’s talents
apply a patch to a garment

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