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    #1

    Question what's the difference between "feed sb sth" and "feed sb on sth"?

    I read from the Oxford dictionary that "feed" can be used as feed sb./sth. (on) sth.

    and I have found the following sentences in difference dictionaries:
    Do you feed your chickens corn?
    If you feed your dog on cakes and biscuits, it's not surprising he's so fat.
    She fed him a cookie.
    He fed me on barbecue ribs, and talked to me non-stop.
    They were fed well on her mother's home cooking.

    Is there any differences between them or are they completely interchangable?

    and BTW, can we say "I feed my chickens with corn"?

  1. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: what's the difference between "feed sb sth" and "feed sb on sth"?

    In my experience, these two uses are not interchangeable.

    The transitive verb "feed" means to provide food to someone/something. Your first and third sentences are examples. The subject is the provider.

    The intransitive use of feed (as would be exemplified by "feed on") means "to be sustained by" or "nourished by" something. The subject is the eater.

    Transitive:

    Jane fed the children macaroni and cheese.
    The farmer fed oats to his horses.

    Intransitive:

    Buzzards feed on carrion and roadkill.
    Sharks feed on fish and other sea creatures.

    For your last, I would say "I feed my chickens corn".

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    #3

    Re: what's the difference between "feed sb sth" and "feed sb on sth"?

    but what‘s the difference between the sentcence 1/3 and sentence2/4?
    "feed chickens corn" and "feed dogs on cakes"
    "feed him a cookie" and "feed me on ribs"
    I mean, the subjects are the same in these two groups.

    I'm thinking:
    Does "feed sb. sth" means one-time experience and "feed sb. on sth" means that the action happened repeatedly during a period of time?

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    #4

    Re: what's the difference between "feed sb sth" and "feed sb on sth"?

    Feed on is for the diet rather than a single occasion.

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