, a ditransitive verb
is a verb
which takes a subject
and two objects (normally a direct object
and an indirect object
). Some examples of ditransitive verbs include:
- He gave Mary ten dollars.
- He passed Paul the ball.
- Jean read him the book.
- She is baking him a cake.
- You made me a liar
Which can be written:
- He gave ten dollars to Mary
- He passed the ball to Paul
- Jean read the book to him
- She is baking a cake for him
- You made a liar of me
In some cases the first form sounds wrong or at least unusual:
- He gave me it vs He gave it to me
- I reported you the problem vs I reported the problem to you
- We reported the police the crime vs We reported the crime to the police
And in some cases the second form sounds wrong:
- Give me a chance vs Give a chance to me
- Let's catch us some fish vs Let's catch some fish for us
Most of these rules may seem to be quite arbitrary and are learnt only instinctively by native speakers.
See also transitive and intransitive.