Give Trouble

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moffain

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For this pair of sentences:

"The current matter gave him trouble."
"The current matter gave trouble to him."

Is the second sentence more formal than the first? Or is it just plain wrong?
 

emsr2d2

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It's wrong.
 

emsr2d2

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No. Just because one construction is wrong, you can't assume that all similar constructions are wrong.

He gave a book to her = Her gave her a book.
In that example, "to give" is used literally. He actually handed a physical book to her.

The matter gave him trouble = The matter caused him trouble.
In that example, "to give" is used in place of "to cause". No-one handed anyone anything.
 
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