The main difference
Look at these wonderful people doing odd (strange) things:
Who’s saying “aim for”? Who’s saying “aim at”?
- “Aim for” is trying to get yourself somewhere.
- “Aim at” is trying to get something somewhere else.
So if you’re the guy with the gun, you’re aiming at the target.
If you’re the boy on the pig, you’re aiming for it.
Of course most of the time, we don’t try to ride pigs into big targets.
This phrase is usually all about personal goal setting. We often use it to talk about our ultimate (final) goal:
He’s aiming for the stars!
I’m going to aim for full marks. I can do it.
We can also aim for a date when we’re making plans with people:
Let’s aim for the 28th to finish this project.
“Aim at” can generally be used in two ways. Both ways are about getting something somewhere.
The first way is quite aggressive and is about attacking something or someone. We often think about guns with this verb, but also about personal attacks:
He aimed his anger at the boss.
Try to aim at the centre of the target.
We can also use the phrase “take aim at”:
She took aim at her opponent’s weak argument.
The second way we can use this phrase is in advertising or media. We talk about how a product, project, TV show or band can be aimed at a certain type of customer/audience:
This course is aimed at higher-level students.
I think fast food adverts that are aimed at children should be banned.
Either way, it’s about getting something to someone -- either a bullet or a hamburger!
OK. “Fate” and “destiny”: which one is more positive? Click Next → for the answer:
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