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She gives a dinner for me.

Why not use :

She gives a dinner to me.

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My first thought is that neither is idiomatic, and that the first is ungrammatical. But, what's the context? What situation are you trying to describe? There's an unusual reading of the first that is grammatical. –  jimsug May 12 at 6:42
    
@jimsug I have no context of this sentence. I just want to analyze this sentence without any context. –  user48070 May 12 at 6:46
    
@jimsug: If I want to quiz "to me", can I ask the question like that: To whom does she give a dinner? –  user48070 May 12 at 6:53
    
Without context, the answer is basically: because both sentences mean something else. Without context, you question is like: "She throws a party" - why not say "She hands out food"? They are completely different sentences :) –  oerkelens May 12 at 6:53
    
As a side note: "To whom does she give" --> not "gives", the verb is "does give", does + bare infinitive. –  oerkelens May 12 at 6:54

1 Answer 1

If someone gives a dinner for you, it is implied that that person is hosting a dinner party in your honour.

If someone just gives you prepared food to eat, she gives, buys or cooks you dinner.

If she gives a dinner to you, she hands you a (probably) packed meal.

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:What does "a dinner" mean ? –  user48070 May 12 at 6:50
    
It is either an evening meal (though you might want to look up supper and dinner), or a party that centres around that meal. –  oerkelens May 12 at 6:52
    
That first one - is it a regional or marked construction? I'm not sure I've ever heard that. I've heard "throw a dinner", though. –  jimsug May 12 at 6:56
    
@jimsug: I don't know how regional it is, but it seems "give" is more common than "throw" according to ngram - I have to admit it surprises me too –  oerkelens May 12 at 7:03
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You give or host a dinner (a formal meal, usually to honor some person or event). You throw or host a party (a usually informal celebration of some person or event). For "a dinner", it's more than simply providing food to eat at an evening meal (note that in some places, "dinner" refers to a mid-day meal). It may include toasts, speeches, gift-giving, etc., and revolves around honoring someone or something. –  Phil Perry May 12 at 13:58

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