"justify to myself" and "build confidence for myself"

Hi, everyone.

Today while getting a conversation with a native English speaker he told me he wants to go back to school in order to get an MBA. He told me this: “Maybe i need to justify to myself that i need an MBA to request a pay rise to my boss”, and then he went on telling me this: " or I just want to build confidence for myself in order to request a better salary"

he used this two phrases " justify to myself " and build confidence for myself". Are they both interchangeable? I mean, is it also right if I use “justify for myself” and “build confidence to myself” in the same context? …

Thanks a lot …

I think you build something (confidence in this case) for someone.

You justify, or explain, or even talk about, or complain about, something to someone.

“For” implies for the benefit of, or for the purpose of. “To” often just implies a direction. To you, to me, to the house.

Note “to” can also mean “in order to” which is a purpose, but let’s leave that out for now.

Others may have some comments here. Prepositions in any language can cause trouble./

In regards to “justify for myself” I think using “to” comes across as much more natural. You justify something “to” your brother, boss, myself etc. “For”

may be occasionally used but “to” seems to be much more prevalent. As for “build confidence for myself” I think the better phrase would be "build

confidence in myself." One exception to this would be if he had said “I want to build confidence (pause) for myself to request a better salary.” Keep

in mind that sometimes during a free flowing conversation slightly ackward prepositions are used, even by native speakers. I don’t think its anything

to worry about though. People will understand what you mean regardless and eventually you will intuitively know which to use.

they are indeed interchangeable, but perhaps this nuance is helpful:

" justify to myself " = “convince myself (intellectually/mentally)”

“build confidence for myself” = “persuade myself (emotionally/morally)”

BTW, aren’t MBA’s a bit passé these days :slight_smile: ?

Thanks Steve, Erik and Edward for replying my tread. I think that learning a new language is just amazing. You know , in Spanish (my native language) either way means the same. By the way, in my back country (Venezuela) workers are not used to requesting a pay raise to their bosses (please, do not ask me why). Most companies just increase workers’ salaries on a yearly basis based on their job performance.

I am totally agreed with Edward’s statement. Actually, I told my friend that MBA’s are a dime a dozen these days (wow! I got this phrase from LingQ!). They’re not nearly as valuable as they used to be.

Thanks again for your help…

To follow up on what ErikRobert said, let us not forget that the accepted norms for standard usage change, and it is the native speakers taking liberties, or changing the way prepositions and others aspects of the language are use, that cause this change. So if you hear non standard usage from native speakers, this might the start of a new trend.

The reason that the most frequently used verbs are the most likely to be irregular in a language, is because they are used more, and therefore more subject to modification through usage.

Many or most people no longer say “by whom” (although I still do), and in reply to the question “how did he do? " some people say” he did good", and many people say Febuary instead of February, and on and on.