'Aim for' vs. 'Aim at'

You can use the verbs aim for, aim to, or aim at to express that you are trying to achieve a goal or hit a target.

You can use the verbs aim for, aim to, or aim at to express that you are trying to achieve a goal or hit a target. The primary differences among them are:

  • Aim for is followed by a noun, so you can say: "I aim for success."
  • Aim to is followed by a verb, so you can say: "I aim to achieve success."
  • Aim at can be followed by:
    • a verb ending in "-ing" (for example: "The new tool aims at improving our system."), or
    • a target (a noun, for example, "I aim at perfect harmony.").

Examples

  • Do what you love, and aim for success.
  • Aim for an important goal to achieve before you die.
  • She aims to please everyone with her best recipes.
  • He aims to win the next U.S. election.
  • Aim at succeeding, but don't forget to help those who most need our financial support.
  • He aims at becoming a millionaire.
  • Our organization aims at sustainable development.
  • Our company aims at a new market in China.
  • This product is aimed at wealthy customers and institutional investors.

Passive Voice with the verb 'aim'

You can use the verbs aim for and aim at in the passive voice. The verb aim to, however, is an intransitive verb (does not take an object) and cannot be used in the passive voice.

Our organization, aimed to fight climate change, needs financial support.

Our organization, aiming to fight climate change, needs financial support.

Our organization, which is aimed to fight climate change, needs financial support.

Our organization, which aims to fight climate change, needs financial support.

Idioms Related to 'aim for' and 'aim to'

'Aim for the stars' or 'Aim for the sky'

If you aim for the stars or aim for the sky, you want to achieve high success or attain something particularly difficult.

  • Aim for the stars, don't limit yourself.
  • Highly intelligent people aim for the sky and have big dreams.

'Aim to please'

The expression aim to please is typically used by companies and organizations to say that as a customer, you are their main priority.

  • Our company aims to please our customers and satisfy their needs.
  • If that company wants to survive in the coming years, they should aim to please their customers.
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