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free, for free, free of charge

The expression for free is informal and should not be used in writing.

  • Informal: I hope we can see the show for free this time.

In formal writing, use simply free—or, for emphasis or clarity, use the expressions free of charge or at no cost.

  • Elise provides translation services free to non-profit organizations.
  • He’d play free of charge (or at no cost) for a good cause.