The benefits of ‘benefit’

Zoos have evolved to prioritise research that benefits for animals.

This error might happen because students have seen (1) the adjective phrase beneficial for, or (2) the noun benefits followed by the preposition for:

  1. Zoos have evolved to prioritise research that is beneficial for animals.
  2. Research prioritised by zoos has benefits for animals.

However, if benefit is being used as a verb, there is no for:

  • Zoos have evolved to prioritise research that benefits animals.

It’s a good idea to learn (it’s ‘beneficial’!) to learn all three forms of benefit because it’s a flexible way to add positive evaluation in debatable claims:

  • Regular exercise is beneficial!
    positive evaluation – adjective form
  • The benefits of digital information are obvious.
    positive evaluation –
    noun form
  • The right working relationship benefits both parties.
    positive evaluation – verb form

I’ve also talked about the benefits of benefit in a previous post. But before you head over there, try this quick practice activity:

Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

('Z' = 'leave blank / zero article')

OK I understand

It’s beneficial students to get plenty of exercise. In fact, exercise benefits students in more ways than one. The first benefit them is exercise helps them to maintain their physical health. Secondly, exercise is also beneficial people preparing for exams. Finally, exercise benefits guys trying to develop a six-pack without having to give up drinking six-packs!

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