Prepositions change the meaning of an expression, interfering in the message you send when using them.
When talking about your passions, do you say “Passion For” or “Passion In”? We wonder if both are correct, or if we should avoid one. Also, if both are acceptable, what does each mean?
Both the expressions “Passion For” and “Passion In” are grammatically correct. However, they have a slightly different meaning. “Passion For” relates to a general field or subject the person is interested in, while “Passion In” relates to a particular niche within that general field the individual is passionate about.
Take a look at the examples below, which might be helpful:
- Jenny has much passion in mentoring, as a leadership skill.
- Jenny has much passion for leadership.
The two sentences in the example tell us that Jenny has a “Passion For” leadership. Since leadership is a field of study, a general area of interest, to use “Passion For” is correct.
However, the first sentence details that passion, narrowing it down to mentoring. Mentoring isn’t a general field in and of itself. It’s a skill, or a niche within the larger field of leadership.
Mentoring is included in the broader concept of leadership. Therefore, the correct form to address it is “Passion In”.
Does it still sound confusing? Let’s look into each expression separately.
“Passion” is a strong feeling, so we use this word to indicate things we are strongly interested in and enjoy. “Passion For” is used to indicate our passion in a field, a subject or topic, with a general sense.
Take a look at the examples below:
- As a musician, John has a passion for rock music.
- I have a passion for making art, and for creating beautiful things.
- The whole team has a passion for helping others.
- George has a passion for education, that’s why he decided to pursue it as a career.
- She has a huge passion for event planning.
The examples show general areas people have “Passion For”. In every case we could ask a follow up question, such as “tell me more about the origin of your passion in art making”, for example, and deepen the conversation.
“Passion In” is another form to indicate the things a person is passionate about. Its meaning differs a little from “Passion For”, because “Passion In” should be used to describe the specific area, within a major field, the individual is interested in.
Take a look at some examples:
- What about politics do you have a passion in?
- I chose to pursue my passion in preschooler’s education.
- A passion in modern paintings is what led Jenna to become an expert.
- John is a talented musician, with a huge passion in making music.
- Vinny is a creative person, and recently decided to share his passion in video making with the world.
As you can see by the examples, “Passion In” always indicates a specific area of interest, within a field.
Keep in mind that “Passion In” can be replaced for “Passion For” in most cases. However, it’s not true the other way around: “Passion For” can’t usually be replaced by “Passion In”.
In other words, “Passion For” has a broader and more common use than “Passion In”.
Which one of the two forms is used more often? Take a look at the graph from Google Ngram Viewer below to find out.
When comparing “Passion For” and “Passion In”, the first appears with much more frequency.
As we know by now, both are grammatically correct, but “Passion For” has a broader use, a more ample meaning. Consequently, it’s not a surprise that it’d appear in the graph as the one that’s used more often.
Still, never forget that “Passion In” is also correct, as long as it is used to indicate a specific area within a larger field.
“Passion For” and “Passion In” are valid expressions to indicate someone’s passions and interests. Use “Passion For” when talking about the general field or area of interest; and “Passion In” only when talking about a specific area of interest within a field.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.