Is For Free Correct Grammar?
The Quick AnswerStrict grammarians will tell you that for free is grammatically incorrect because free is not a noun, and this means it cannot be preceded by for (a preposition).
In their view, something is sold for nothing or is sold free.
However, through common usage, for free has become acceptable.
Is the Term For Free Grammatically Acceptable?Strict grammarians assert that the term for free is grammatically incorrect. According to them, the example below is wrong:
- Music critics get their records for free so their opinions usually don't matter. (Marilyn Manson)
(1) For free is grammatically unsound.
A preposition must sit before something functioning as a noun (i.e., a noun, a pronoun or noun phrase). As free is an adjective, it cannot be preceded by the preposition for.
(2) For free is logically unsound.
Strict grammarians state that for is a shortened version of in exchange for, and free is a shortened version of free of charge. So, if both were expanded to their full versions, we would have in exchange for free of charge, which is nonsensical.