How to tell if something is a core complement or a non-core complement?

CaGEL on page 216 cite the following: “Kim gave the key to Pat” An NP indirectly related to the verb through the preposition is referred as an oblique. The phrase “to Pat” is a non-core compliment of the verb give, but the NP Pat is an oblique. In a double object construction where both the … Read more

Is it correct to say, “Send it me?”

I’m a native speaker, but I’m a bit of a language lover and I’m afraid some other grammatical structures have encroached on my use of English. Another native English speaker looked at me funny the other day while we were talking about a document when I asked her to “send it me“. If I were … Read more

Is “Whom did you give the book?” ungrammatical?

You gave him the book.                       (1) Based on the sentence (1), it seems to me that the following form of question is possible: Whom did you give the book?            (2) instead of To whom did you give the book? … Read more

What are some give-type verbs that cannot undergo straight dative alternation?

The following dative alternations sound off to me: I want to donate my clothes to charity. –> I want to donate charity my clothes. He has to submit his paper to his teacher. –> He has to submit his teacher his paper. If these words cannot undergo dative alternation, is there a rule explaining why? … Read more

Is it still an indirect object if you’re taking something away?

So Jim is the indirect object in the sentence “Sally gave Jim a sandwich.” But is Jim still the indirect object if the sentence is “Sally took the sandwich from Jim”? And if the sentence were to become “Sally took the sandwich from Jim for herself” would Sally now be both the subject and the … Read more

What’s wrong with “I’ll open you the door”?

When I call the buzzer outside my girlfriend’s flat, she sometimes says *“I’ll open you the door”. I correct this to “I’ll open the door for you”. I’ve never heard a native speaker say it the first way, which is why I think it’s wrong. But I can’t explain why. There is a pattern in … Read more

Why is it correct to say “He came and said something to me” but not “He came and said to me something”?

This question was just posed to me and I couldn’t give a clear answer beyond that the second just feels wrong and one would generally use a direct or indirect quotation, as in “he came and said to me that he can’t come.” However, I’m led to believe that it’s just a matter of usage, … Read more

“to throw someone something” vs “to throw something at someone”

In the following sentence, the need for the at preposition is clear: “He threw something at him” However, if I started the sentence the other way round, it would feel (at least to me) as if the preposition was no longer needed: “He threw him something” The question is: Is it correct to omit the … Read more

Which one is more appropriate to use: “send you” or “send to you”?

Are both of the following sentences correct? Let me know if there is still something I need to send to you. Let me know if there is still something I need to send you. Which one is more appropriate to use? Answer Both are semantically correct as they are. But compare I’ll send it to … Read more