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  1. #1
    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default verb + to + object pronoun

    Hi everyone,

    I wrote the sentnece "The woman complained me" but it's not right. I should have written "The woman complained to me". Why do I need to write "to" in this sentence and is there a type of verb when I need to use "to" before the object pronoun. I'm confused!

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: verb + to + object pronoun

    Hi,
    A transitive verb requires a direct object. The woman wrote a letter. The woman kicked a ball.
    WHAT did she write? WHAT did she kick?

    Sometimes you follow a transitive verb with an indirect object as well. The woman wrote a letter to her sister. The woman kicked the ball to her teammate.
    TO WHOM did she write the letter? TO WHOM did she kick the ball?

    An intranstive verb doesn't have a direct object, but it can have an indirect object.
    The woman complained to me.
    TO WHOM did she complain?

    If you leave out the "to" it souds like she "complained you" - an illogical and ungrammatical thing to do.

    A common learner mistake is with the verb recommend.
    WHAT you recommend is that thing you think well of.
    Then you say TO WHOM you recommended that thing.

    The woman recommended a good restaurant to me.
    WHAT did she recommend? A good restaurant.
    TO WHOM did she recommend it? To me.

    But we often see "He recommended me" -- which is wrong, unless you were the thing that was recomended. He recommended me [for the job] to the hiring manager.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. #3
    crazyaboutenglish is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: verb + to + object pronoun

    Thanks that really help me.

  4. #4
    billmcd is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: verb + to + object pronoun

    Quote Originally Posted by crazyaboutenglish View Post
    Hi everyone,

    I wrote the sentnece "The woman complained me" but it's not right. I should have written "The woman complained to me". Why do I need to write "to" in this sentence and is there a type of verb when I need to use "to" before the object pronoun. I'm confused!

    Thanks
    "Complain" is one of a long list of prepositional verbs that is followed by a preposition which in turn is followed by an object (noun or pronoun).

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: verb + to + object pronoun

    The woman complained to me = The woman came to talk to me and what she wanted to do was complain about something or someone.

    The woman complained about me = The woman went to speak to someone else and the subject of her complaint was me. I had done something to upset her.

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