Can you use a ditransitive construction with the verb ‘to attribute’?


  • John attributed his cold to his wife.

  • Jane attributed wisdom to her father that he didn’t really possess.

The above are standard transitive constructions. Can I then properly say the following using a ditransitive construction?


  • John attributed his wife his cold.

  • Jane attributed her father (‘with’?) wisdom he didn’t really possess.


Yes, this is the correct use of the ditransitive.
There are the Attributive Ditransitive Verbs. Wikipedia describes them well:
Attributive ditransitive Verbs
There is a different kind of ditransitive verb, where the two objects are semantically an entity and a quality, a source and a result, etc. These verbs attribute one object to the other. In English, make, name, appoint, turn into and others are examples:

The state of New York made Hillary Clinton a Senator.
I will name him Galahad.
What is challenging is that the examples are actions that are relatively intangible.

Let’s try “He gave the checkbook to his wife.”
“He gave his wife the checkbook.”
From here, you can see that checkbook could be replaced with cold.

    "Jane gave the theater tickets to her father that he didn't have." 
    "Jane gave the theater tickets her father that he didn't have." 

From here, theater tickets could be replaced with “the wisdom” or wisdom.

Source : Link , Question Author : Benjamin Harman , Answer Author : user183590

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