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  1. #1
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    Post ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Is it possible to say, 'He asked a question of me.' Or only I can say, 'He asked me a question.'
    Do Those two sentences mean the same?
    Most ditransitive verbs such as give, send make two different ways of sentences. For example, 'I gave him a book.', 'I gave a book to him.'
    Sometimes I.O has different preposition: 'I bought him a book.', 'I bought a book for him.'
    What's the difference between those two kinds of use and In the sentence
    'He asked me a question', How can I change it like the others, using preposition.
    pls I would appreciate it if you give me an answer!

    p.s. If you are available, by any chance, would you kindly look at one more question titled 'She was seen to cross the road (by me).' below.
    Last edited by sanctuarylsw; 19-Jun-2007 at 15:20. Reason: made some correction

  2. #2
    Jason72 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    He asked a question of me.
    He asked me a question.
    Last edited by Jason72; 20-Jun-2007 at 13:10. Reason: Ooopsey!

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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Thank you for telling me. However, I just wonder, in any way, can it have a strucrue with a preposion in front of the indirect object?, like 'He asked a question to me.'?

  4. #4
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason72 View Post
    He asked a question of me.
    He asked me a question.
    Maybe this is something that doesn't work in AmE, but "he asked a question of me" is fine in BE. You could also say 'He put a question to me.'

    b

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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    I'm glad you wrote that BobK. It sounded okay to me too, but thought that I was missing something.

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    Jason72 is offline Banned
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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Thanks guys, I've clicked the wrong one.
    sanctuarylsw, I am very sorry, I am exhausted all the time, too many tests to correct.

    BobK, I speak BE... And I think it is perfectly normall in AE...

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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Hello, sanctuarylsw.

    Additionally, you asked if these two sentence express the same meaning:

    He asked a question of me.
    He asked me a question.

    They differ slightly. The first is less direct, and therefore more formal than the second one. And, yes, the position of the adverbial phrase of me has something to do with that, but it's really that coupled with the semantics of the preposition of.

    By the way, another way of rephrasing he asked me a question would be he directed a question at me , which isn't marked formal, but rather places the question in focus, and not the person. The same holds true with the second sentence here:

    I gave him a book.
    I gave a book to him.

    Again, the difference is scope or rather the position of the adverbial phrase to him. In this case, formality isn't the difference; it's topic or what's in focus. In the first one, the person is in focus, whereas in the second one, the book is in focus. If something is in focus it means it's important to the speaker.

    The same holds true here, with this pair:

    I bought him a book.
    I bought a book for him.

    The last sentence you provided, she was seen to cross the road (by me) doesn't have a di-transitive verb, but it is related to what we are discussing. It's passive, and with passive sentences scope is important. The verb's object is promoted to a topic position, in much the same way that indirect objects of di-transitive verbs (e.g., gave a book to him) are promoted to object position (e.g., gave him a book).

    With passive verbs, the subject is either omitted (...) or attached to the end of the verb phrase with a by-phrase. The verb's object is promoted to subject position, a topic position, which makes it in focus and more important than the true subject. Like this,

    Active: Pat saw Max crossing the street.
    Passive: Max was seen (by Pat) crossing the street.


    Does that help?

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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Thanks very much for your help!!!!!!
    Your reply helps me a lot!
    Thank you, again!

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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Hi Cas,
    Your explanation is just fantastic , and would you please tell me whether the preposition "of" can be replaced by "from"; that is, is the following sentence gramatically correct?
    -He asked a question from me.

    I gather it isn't, but even very educated people I know use "from" with "ask".

    Cheers
    Udara

  10. #10
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    Default Re: ditransitive verbs(desperately in need)

    Quote Originally Posted by udara sankalpa View Post
    ... would you please tell me whether the preposition "of" can be replaced by "from"; that is, is the following sentence gramatically correct?
    -He asked a question from me.

    I gather it isn't, but even very educated people I know use "from" with "ask".

    Cheers
    Udara
    I imagine those very educated people are not replacing 'of' but using the not very common expression 'ask from' [='ask on behalf of someone else']

    Example:

    Doctor M, a specialist in subject X can't go to a seminar that deals with subjects X and Y, so he asks his friend Dr N (who specializes in subject Y) to ask a question on his behalf; he adds that he and the speaker at the seminar are old friends, so he should mention his name. At the seminar Dr N asks: 'This isn't really my field, but I'd like to ask you a question from Dr M....' (It would be clearer if he said '... ask a question on behalf of Dr M/put to me/suggested/raised by Dr M...', but I've heard 'ask from' among academics.)

    b

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