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This is a 语病 question from HSK6 Standard Course (p.94 photo of original):

妈妈对于我不太信任,老把我当成孩子。

The corrections are:

介词和宾语搭配不当。
妈妈我不太信任,老把我当成孩子。

So the answer changes 对于 to 对 and nothing else.

However, as far as I know, when 对 is used as a preposition, it means 对于. For example, in my 现代汉语词典 (photo; top of the right column), we have the definition of 对 as:

对 (13) (介) 对于,说明事物的关系:他~这件事有意见

Chinese Grammar Wiki writes:

When 对 and 对于 are used as prepositions to modify a verb, they are basically the same. As a matter of fact, when used this way 对 is just the simplification of 对于! 对于 sounds a bit more formal.

Question: Why should 对于 be changed to 对 in the above sentence?

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  • "妈妈对于我不太信任": this sentence is very strange. Why not just "妈妈不太信任我"?
    – joehua
    Jan 29 at 19:23

4 Answers 4

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张斌《现代汉语虚词词典》 p. 159

【比较】“对于”与“对”

“对于”和“对”在很多场合可以通用。一般说,能用“对于”的地方,也能用“对”,但能用“对”的地方不一定都能用“对于”:

  1. “对”后宾语是指人的名词或代词,表示人与人之间的关系时,一般不能用“对于”替换。
  2. “对”表示“朝、向”之意时,不能用“对于”替换。
  3. “对……”可以用在助动词或副词的后面,“对于”……则不能用在助动词或副词的后面。

对于 can usually be replaced with 对, but certain usages of 对 cannot be replaced with 对于. 1) When the object is a person, use 对, not 对于; 2) When 对 means "towards (direction)", do not use 对于; 3) 对于 is not used after adverb or auxiliary verb, as in 你应该对这个问题发表意见 (do not use 对于这个问题), 我们都对这个电影感兴趣 (do use use 对于这个电影).

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Also, 对于 could mean "in relation to (some issue)" (similar to 关于). So,

妈妈对于我不太信任,老把我当成孩子。

could mean (albeit awkwardly)

Mother--in relation to the issue of me not being too trusting--often treats me like a kid.


In contrast,

妈妈对我不太信任,老把我当成孩子。

clearly means

Mother is not too trusting of me, often treats me like a kid.

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The reason why they cannot be used interchangeably in the two sentences you provided is because the meanings are different.
Specifically in 妈妈对我不太信任, can be roughly interpreted as 对待(deal with, behave toward), for example: 妈妈对我不太好(Mom does not treat me well), or他对人很和善(He treats people kindly).
The meaning of 对于 on the other hand is similar to standard prepositions in English such as about, to, or regarding.

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  • I'm still wondering about this: 对 〈介〉(2) 对待。用法大致同“对于” [toward]。
    – Pedroski
    Jan 30 at 7:44
  • This does not look like a very good explanation to me since the difference in usage is apparent. I found this Comprehensive Overview of Chinese Prepositions on google which seems to have done a good job demonstrating the difference. Jan 30 at 22:34
  • Hi, very nice link, thanks a lot! My comment wasn't supposed to be an explanation, rather, to show a contradiction. 对 = 对于, 对 = toward = 对待 = 对于 (which is not supposed to be according to 2. in user2249675's answer). I can understand such uses of 对, but I can't explain what 对 is in 妈妈对我不太信任. In English we say "have confidence IN someone": "妈妈对我不太信任" Mum doesn't have much confidence in me. Maybe 对 represents IN? German uses the Dative case for 信任, vertrauen, (trust me = vertrau mir) which would correspond with IN.
    – Pedroski
    Jan 31 at 7:50
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The following sentences are all correct in Chinese grammar:

  • 妈妈对于我来说不太可信 Mom is not trustable for me ( means someone is)
  • 妈妈对我不太信任 Mom doesn't trust me ( means someone's attitude)
  • 妈妈对于我来说很重要 Mom is very important to me. ( means someone is)
  • 妈妈对我很重要 Mom is very important to me. ( means someone is)
  • 机器对于我来说不太可信
  • 我对机器不太信任
  • 机器对于我来说很重要
  • 机器对我很重要

Incorrect:

  • 妈妈对于我不太信任
  • 妈妈对我不太可信
  • 我对于机器来说不太可信
  • 机器对我不太信任
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  • This does not really answer the question. Giving a list of valid and invalid sentences with no further comment or explanation doesn’t tell the asker anything about why 对 needed to be changed to 对于 in the example sentence. Jan 29 at 23:42

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