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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    gave flowers to her

    Hello,
    I was surprised to read a grammar comment saying that it is wrong to use the indirect object after the direct one in case the indirect object is a pronoun. To make it more visual here's an example:
    1) I gave flowers to her - Oxford Grammar book says it's wrong.
    2) I gave her the flowers. - correct

    I remember that in poetry they use Number One st6ructure as well - "he kept his meaning to himself, but gave a rose to me".
    Is Number One really wrong according to accepted rules of grammar, let alone poetry?

    Thank you in advance.

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    #2

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Which Oxford grammar book is this? I don't agree with this rule- She gave them to me (both pronouns) is fine.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: gave flowers to her

    'I gave her flowers' is usually more natural than 'I gave flowers to her', the second is not wrong.

  3. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Hello,
    I was surprised to read a grammar comment saying that it is wrong to use the indirect object after the direct one in case the indirect object is a pronoun. To make it more visual here's an example:
    1) I gave flowers to her - Oxford Grammar book says it's wrong.
    2) I gave her the flowers. - correct

    I remember that in poetry they use Number One st6ructure as well - "he kept his meaning to himself, but gave a rose to me".
    Is Number One really wrong according to accepted rules of grammar, let alone poetry?

    Thank you in advance.
    Is there any reason you have "the flowers" in 2, and just "flowers" in 1. You're not comparing like sentences.
    Anyway, they're both right. You've probably misunderstood the point the book was making.
    Without "the", I think 2 would be more common.
    With "the", they're both about equally likely.

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    #5

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Hello,
    I was surprised to read a grammar comment saying that it is wrong to use the indirect object after the direct one in case the indirect object is a pronoun. To make it more visual here's an example:
    1) I gave flowers to her - Oxford Grammar book says it's wrong.
    2) I gave her the flowers. - correct

    I remember that in poetry they use Number One st6ructure as well - "he kept his meaning to himself, but gave a rose to me".
    Is Number One really wrong according to accepted rules of grammar, let alone poetry?

    Thank you in advance.
    To me it looks like

    "I gave flowers (Od) to her (Op)" is the prepositional paraphrase of
    "I gave her (Oi) flowers (Od)".

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    #6

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    Hello,
    I was surprised to read a grammar comment saying that it is wrong to use the indirect object after the direct one in case the indirect object is a pronoun. To make it more visual here's an example:
    1) I gave flowers to her - Oxford Grammar book says it's wrong.
    Not wrong at all, though less natural than 2 for a normal, unemphatic utterance.

    If, however there were some argument about who the recipient of the flowers actually was, the first would be quite possible:

    A: (pointing at girl C) You did give the flowers to her, didn't you?
    B: (pointing at girl D) No, I already told you: I gave the flowers to her!!

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Perhaps we're looking at the wrong pronoun?

    I gave the flowers to the girl.
    I gave the girl the flowers.

    I gave the flowers to her.
    I gave her the flowers.

    I gave them to the girl.
    I gave the girl them.

    I gave them to her.
    I gave her them.

    Only the two in bold sound wrong to me. Depending on what you need to emphasize, any of the others can be used.

    The direct object cannot be replaced by a pronoun and come at the end to sound natural. (I'm not even willing to say wrong -- just unnatural.)

    What do others think?
    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.

  5. 5jj's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    The direct object cannot be replaced by a pronoun and come at the end to sound natural. (I'm not even willing to say wrong -- just unnatural.
    I agree.

  6. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    I gave her them.

    Only the two in bold sound wrong to me. Depending on what you need to emphasize, any of the others can be used.

    The direct object cannot be replaced by a pronoun and come at the end to sound natural. (I'm not even willing to say wrong -- just unnatural.)

    What do others think?
    "I gave her them" is possible to me, but "I gave them to her" is preferable.
    But what I really think is that we need a reliable quotation of what this Oxford Grammar book actually said.

  7. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: gave flowers to her

    Thank you very much, all the responses are of great help to me!

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