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Thread: give

  1. #1
    Will17 is offline Senior Member
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    Wink give

    Hello there!

    I've got a doubt (for a change!)

    Which one is correct: "What advice can you give me?"

    "What advice can you give to me?"


    What advice can you give Peter?

    What advice can you give to Peter?

    Thanks

    W

  2. #2
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    Default Re: give

    "What advice can you give me?"
    What advice can you give Peter?
    ...is what a native speaker would say.
    Grammatically, it is
    "What advice can you give to me?"
    What advice can you give to Peter?
    ...but the 'to' is omitted.

  3. #3
    Clark is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: give

    Quote Originally Posted by Will17 View Post
    Hello there!

    I've got a doubt (for a change!)

    Which one is correct: "What advice can you give me?"

    "What advice can you give to me?"


    What advice can you give Peter?

    What advice can you give to Peter?

    Thanks

    W
    Cf.: I gave him some advice. (1)
    I gave some advice to him. (2)

    In (1) the focus is 'What did you give him?'
    In (2) the focus is 'Who did you give the advice to?'

    I believe, by saying 'What advice can you give to me?' you may emphasise the idea that your co-speaker is not competent enough to give you any advice.

  4. #4
    mykwyner is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: give

    I believe that Clark is right. The addition of the preposition to shifts the emphasis away from the advice and toward the recipient of the advice.

    "You told Howard to stop smoking; you told William to get a divorce, and you told Susan to back to school. What advice can you give to me?"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: give

    So - Will17:
    what you have is, that in a single sentence, when a person has just told you a problem they have and seek your advice, they would ask: "What advice can you give me." (with omission of the 'to')

    If you string several of these together: you told him to X, told her to Y, so...what advice can you give to me?" This might serve to emphasize 'now it's my turn, give some of your advice to me.'
    but it would equally be correct to again omit the 'to'.

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