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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #1

    "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Hello.
    I have a question as to the usage of "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody".

    1. I gave him the book.
    2. I gave the book to him.

    I'm sure #1 and #2 mean the same. However, I suspect each sentence should be used in the appropriate context.
    I'd like to know how to use each of them correctly. Please look at the sentences below:

    I went to a bookstore yesterday and bought a book. I gave the book/it to him this morning. I feel it's OK.

    I went to a bookstore yesterday and bought a book. I gave him the book this morning. It is grammatical, but I don't feel it's quite natural.

    Do I understand it correctly?
    Thank you.

  2. Newbie
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    #2

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Hi,

    I feel i gave him the book is correct.

  3. Moderator
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    #3

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Quote Originally Posted by Uteacher View Post

    I feel "I gave him the book" is correct.
    Please use correct capitalisation and punctuation.

  4. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #4

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Quote Originally Posted by tzfujimino View Post
    I went to a bookstore yesterday and bought a book. I gave him the book this morning. It is grammatical, but I don't feel it's quite natural.
    It's perfectly natural.

  5. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Thank you, Tdol.

    Is there a situation/context where one is preferred over the other?

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    In everyday usage, give someone something is more common.

  7. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Thank you.

    Please allow me to ask one more question.
    If I were asked "Who did you give the book to?", would it be OK to use both "I gave him the book." and "I gave the book to him." with the stress on 'him'?

    Thank you again.

  8. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    If you were asked "Who did you give the book to?" then it would be more natural to say "Him" or "To him" or "I gave it to him" but if you did write the whole thing, then "I gave the book to him" sounds more natural to me.
    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.

  9. probus's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    I can see nothing to choose: both seem equally natural to me.

  10. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: "give somebody something" and "give something to somebody"

    Hello, probus.
    Thank you for your reply.

    Are you referring to my original post (#1) or #7?
    Or both?

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