I’m always wondering when I want to write a sentence with provide. What is the correct way to say/write:
- to provide someone with something
- to provide someone something
- to provide something to someone
Is there any difference in usage between American and UK English?
All three are actually correct in English usage, ambiguous as that seems. No matter how you word it, the thing you are providing is the actual, functional direct object, while the person or thing you’re providing it to is the indirect, even though the words might not make that obvious.
This would be less ambiguous in a language that had a separate dative case (like Latin or, I believe, Russian), where the thing or person you were giving something to would always be suffixed differently than the thing you were providing (which would be in the accusative case), and the word order wouldn’t matter because noun cases would tell you which was which.