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    #1

    TO ?

    Dear teachers,
    I have some confusion regarding the use to after a verb.
    Explain to me the subject/Explain me the subject
    Give me a pencil/Give to me a pencil
    Is there any rule?

    Please help
    Thank you

    Shad

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: TO ?

    The preposition "to" is commonly omitted after verbs of giving or procuring; for example:

    "Give me a hand."

    "Hand me that screwdriver."

    "Pass me the mashed potatoes, please."

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: TO ?

    One of the most common omissions of "to" is with "explain". The simple rule for that verb is that it goes:

    EXPLAIN then TO then PRONOUN

    I want you to explain to him how to do it.
    Can you explain to me what you're doing?

    Sometimes, there will be an extra word between "explain" and "to".

    Explain it to me.
    Please explain it to them.
    Have you explained it to my brother yet?

    We don't follow "explain" with "to" when there is no pronoun afterwards:

    I can't explain.
    Please don't explain.
    What are you going to explain?
    When will you start to explain?

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    #4

    Re: TO ?

    [QUOTE=Shad;838331]
    Give me a pencil/Give to me a pencil

    NOT A TEACHER


    (1) A teacher and a moderator have both given you excellent answers. May I add my two cents?

    (2) You asked a super difficult question that cannot be answered in one little post.

    (3) I hope the following can get you started. You can check your books or the Web for details. And, of course, you can always ask questions here.

    **********

    (4) GIVE A PENCIL.

    As you know, the word "pencil" is the direct object. It is usually a thing.

    (5) GIVE A PENCIL TO ME

    "To me" is called a prepositional phrase.

    (6) GIVE ME A PENCIL

    If you delete (erase) the "to" and put "me" after the verb, we then call "me" an indirect object.

    (7) GIVE TO ME A PENCIL

    Most native speakers do not accept No. 7 as "correct."

    **********

    (8) Many times you must choose No. 5 or No. 6:


    This website teaches English to learners. / This website teaches learners English.
    NOT: This website teaches to learners English.

    (9) BUT sometimes (sometimes!!) No. 5 and No. 7 are correct, but No. 6 is NOT correct. It depends on the verb. For example, if you use the verb "explain," you
    have this choice:

    Please explain the lesson to me.
    Please explain to me the lesson.

    NOT: Please explain me the lesson.

    **********

    If you have any questions, please post them here. The excellent teachers will be happy to answer you.

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    #5

    Re: TO ?

    Thank you
    Shad

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    #6

    Re: TO ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    The preposition "to" is commonly omitted after verbs of giving or procuring; for example:

    "Give me a hand."

    "Hand me that screwdriver."

    "Pass me the mashed potatoes, please."
    The only possible exception to the variety of considered answers here might be in the case of emphasis. F'rinstance - how many times have you heard someone say "Give that to me this instant!"?

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