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  1. #1
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    Default Write to him or write him?

    I have always said "write to him" whilst others particularly Americans say "write him". Am I right or wrong in using the "to" in the sentence, and is one the American version?
    David

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Write to him or write him?

    Welcome, David.

    It depends on the topic. Is it "him a letter" or "a letter to him"? There's a difference. Either way, with or without "to", "write (to) him" is North American English.

    [a] Let's write him (a letter).
    [b] Let's write (a letter) to him.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Write to him or write him?

    I am still not entirely clear. Does that mean that a and b are American English, and only if I use the word "letter" in the sentence is it British English.
    For example. John sent me a nice gift. I must write him with thanks. This sentence sounds American English, but if if wrote "write to him" it scans better. Could you clarify what you think.
    David

  4. #4
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    Cool Re: Write to him or write him?

    Hi David27,
    You're correct that there is a distinction between 'a' and 'b' - 'a' is North-American English and in British-English you must use 'to'.
    In 'b' it is possible to omit 'a letter' in B-E because it's assumed you're going to write a letter (as opposed to a newspaper article).

    Hope this helps,
    Dippit

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Write to him or write him?

    Both [a] and [b] are possible in both dialects (Sorry, Dippit):

    [a] Let's write him. <short for: Let's write him a letter>
    [b] Let's write to him. <short for: Let's write a letter to him>

    That American speakers seem to prefer, as you've noted, the first structure to the second doesn't mean one is AmE and the other not. The difference you've come across has to do with efficiency. I am Canadian and I use both [a] and [b]:

    [a] Let's write him. <short for: Let's write him a letter>
    [b] Let's write to him. <short for: Let's write a letter to him>

    The first structure has the pronoun "him" incorporated. That is, it's folded into the sentence, like this,

    Let's write a letter to him => Lets write him a letter.

    Incorporation changes the original order of the sentence and, in doing so, it makes the structure more efficient. For example, which structure below has less words, which one has more words?

    Pat gave Sam a book. <incorporated>
    Pat gave a book to Sam. <unincorporated>

    The incorporated structure has less words; it's more efficient.

    I use both structures.

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