So I am having some problems trying to understand when to use für and zu while talking about having time

I have checked in https://www.linguee.de but I see lot of different sentences.

So far, correct me in case I am wrong:

  • I have no time for something

    Ich habe keine Zeit für etwas
    Ich habe keine Zeit dafür

  • I have no time to do something

    Ich habe keine Zeit, etwas zu machen
    Ich habe keine Zeit dazu

  • I take some time for something/to do something

    Ich nehme mir Zeit für etwas
    Ich nehme mir Zeit etwas zu machen

I am living in Germany so I asked a couple of germans how they use it and all of them said, they "never" use »Ich habe keine Zeit dazu« and always use »dafür«.

Could anyone explain me this scenarios?

  • Related: "Dafür vs. dazu"
    – IQV
    Aug 27, 2018 at 7:35
  • Using stubs like etwas, jemand (something, someone) ist not good. Use concrete words, that you would use in normal speech too. Aug 27, 2018 at 11:31

1 Answer 1


As rule of thumb you can say: You use zu if a (unconjugated) verb is following and you use für if a substantive is following.

In the context of having time you are right: Using dafür is common (and sounds "good") while dazu is not common (but unfortunately i can not explain why.)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.