So I had to translate this sentence and I thought it'd be just У меня нет времени за это, but I have a lot of trouble when using certain prepositions. In this case for example, I would have no idea whether to use за or для, so my first question is which one is correct.

I know that для is supposed to mean more like "for the purpose of" but I couldn't tell in this particular sentence, are they interchangeable?

My second question is, Google Translate uses the preposition на in the sentence I have time for this, and I don't understand why. I only know this preposition to be used as in/on. And "for" only when used with time to mean "for the duration of" a certain amount of time. So am I missing a meaning here as well?

Thank you very much.

1 Answer 1


Both "на это" and "для этого" would be appropriate here, although you would encounter the first one more often.

Consider the phrase 'to spend time on something'. The Russian phrase actually means "У меня нет времени [, чтобы потратить его] на это" ('I don't have time [to spend it] on that').

  • And why за with the meaning of "for" wouldn't be acceptable instead of для? Commented May 9, 2017 at 14:30
  • 1
    "За" would mean "for" as in "[in exchange] for", not as "for [the sake of]", and is not suitable in this case. Commented May 9, 2017 at 14:48

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