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Difference between Be up for something and Be up to something

be up for something

1. (of a house, car, etc.) intended for sale or repairs:

  • How long has this house been up for sale?

2. be considered for a position, a job, etc.:

  • I believe he’s up for re-admission to the society at the next committee meeting.

3. facing criminal charges:

  • I hear the gardener is up for the robbery at the big house.

4. (coll.) willing to do smth. or interested in doing smth.:

  • If you’re up for straight drinking, go to an izakaya, usually explained as a Japanese pub.

Note: The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase be hard up for something—be short of smth.; not have enough of smth.:

  • I was hard up for cash so I was willing to do whatever I could, within reason.

be up to something

1. feel well enough or be able to do smth.:

  • Mother hasn’t been up to much recently, while her leg was bad.

2. be about to engage in smth. mischievous or reprehensible:

  • I felt sure he was up to no good when I saw him hanging about the back door.

3. be well aware of smb.’s dishonest tricks, etc.:

  • But surely, all that’s taken care of by the customs authorities? They must be up to all the dodges.

4. equal smth. in standard:

  • I wonder whether his latest book was up to your expectations?

See also: be down for something / be down to something.