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  1. bianca's Avatar
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    #1

    answer/answer to

    I wonder...

    what is the difference between 'answer a question' and 'answer to a question', 'answer me' and 'answer to me'??

    I use them interchangeably, without really knowing which one is correct, or if both are correct, or why.
    Last edited by bianca; 21-Jul-2007 at 12:33.


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    #2

    Re: answer/answer to

    hi bianca,

    i think we use answer a question or answer me whenever answer is used as an infinitive object.Like:-
    He refused to answer me.
    He refused to answer the questions.

    In other situations we use 'answer to'.Like:-
    It is not possible to know the answers to all the questions.

    So see the difference:
    1)It is not possible to know the answers to all the questions.
    It is not possible to answer all the questions.

    2)He gave answer to my question.
    He cannot answer my question.

  2. bianca's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: answer/answer to

    Quote Originally Posted by the writing on the wall View Post
    hi bianca,

    i think we use answer a question or answer me whenever answer is used as an infinitive object.Like:-
    He refused to answer me.
    He refused to answer the questions.

    In other situations we use 'answer to'.Like:-
    It is not possible to know the answers to all the questions.

    So see the difference:
    1)It is not possible to know the answers to all the questions.
    It is not possible to answer all the questions.

    2)He gave answer to my question.
    He cannot answer my question.
    yes, I understand and thank you. But my question is confined to these two particular examples:

    in interjections, do you say:

    'Answer to my question'! or just 'Answer my question'!

    'Answer me!' or 'Answer to me!'

    I use both alternatives, because I've heard both. But I don't know why.


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    #4

    Re: answer/answer to

    hi bianca ,

    answer can be followed by two prepositions :- to and for

    So , grammatically answer to me sounds more convincing.
    We answer to a person and we answer for a conduct.

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    #5

    Re: answer/answer to

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    yes, I understand and thank you. But my question is confined to these two particular examples:

    in interjections, do you say:

    'Answer to my question'! or just 'Answer my question'!

    'Answer me!' or 'Answer to me!'

    I use both alternatives, because I've heard both. But I don't know why.
    Answer my question!

    Here are some explanations on the usage of the verb " answer" :

    1. react verbally; "She didn't want to answer"; "answer the question"; "We answered that we would accept the invitation"
    2. respond to a signal; "answer the door"; "answer the telephone"
    3. give the correct answer or solution to; "answer a question"; "answer the riddle"
    4. understand the meaning of; "The question concerning the meaning of life cannot be answered"
    5. give a defence or refutation of (a charge) or in (an argument); "The defendant answered to all the charges of the prosecution"
    6. be liable or accountable; "She must answer for her actions"
    7. be sufficient; be adequate, either in quality or quantity; "A few words would answer"; "This car suits my purpose well"; "Will $100 do?"; "A 'B' grade doesn't suffice to get me into medical school"; "Nothing else will serve" [syn: suffice]
    8. match or correspond; "The drawing of the suspect answers to the description the victim gave"
    9. be satisfactory for; meet the requirements of or serve the purpose of; "This may answer her needs"
    10. react to a stimulus or command; "The steering of my new car answers to the slightest touch"
    [source]http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/answer

  3. bianca's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: answer/answer to

    thanks Teia.

    I reckon 'answer to me/my question!' is the more accepted grammatically, where 'answer' is an intransitive verb. Informally, one can say 'answer me/my question!' where 'answer' is a transitive verb. (I've heard native speakers say that).

    But, these are my speculations.

  4. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #7

    Re: answer/answer to

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    I wonder...

    what is the difference between 'answer a question' and 'answer to a question', 'answer me' and 'answer to me'??

    I use them interchangeably, without really knowing which one is correct, or if both are correct, or why.
    Here's my take on your question:

    Examples
    Please, answer the question.
    Please, answer to the question.

    Please, give me an answer to the question.
    Please, give me an answer the question.

    Please, give the answer to me.
    Please, give me the answer.
    Please, give the answer me.

    Please, answer me this question.
    Please, answer me the question.

    Please, answer the question for me.

    Please, answer me.


    Does that help?

  5. bianca's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: answer/answer to

    when you are angry and shout at somebody, is it OK to say:

    "Answer to me, young man!"

    or when you beg someone:

    "Please, answer me!"

    only these two sentences I'm interested in.

  6. Casiopea's Avatar

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    #9

    Re: answer/answer to

    to answer to(verb)
    Meaning: you answer to someone in a higher position; they are the person you have to explain your actions or decisions to. Source

    That definition doesn't fit your intended meaning here:

    [1] When you are angry and shout at somebody; e.g., "Answer to me, young man!"


    This one, however, works:

    [2] When you beg someone: "Please, answer me!"

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: answer/answer to

    Quote Originally Posted by bianca View Post
    when you are angry and shout at somebody, is it OK to say:

    "Answer to me, young man!"

    or when you beg someone:

    "Please, answer me!"

    only these two sentences I'm interested in.
    Your doubts may have been caused (either in your mind, or in the minds of other students you've heard) by the phrasal verb 'answer to':

    Explain or justify something to someone, as in If Mary doesn't help us finish this project, she'll have to answer to the boss.
    Read more here: answer to: Information from Answers.com

    In this sense, I don't see how you might have heard the command Answer to me!, but you might have heard something like 'Anyone who doesn't finish their homework by Friday will have to answer to the headmaster'.

    b

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