Which one is correct? (or if both are correct, which one is better)

  1. I offered him a job.


  1. I offered a job to him.

  1. I lent him a pen.


  1. I lent a pen to him.

  • I feel that you're asking the wrong questions here titan. Why should one of them be better?
    – M.A.R.
    Sep 30 '16 at 18:10

In both of these examples, him can be use either as an indirect object, which is placed between the verb and the object:

1) I offered him a job.

or as part of a to-prepositional phrase, which is placed after the object.

2) I offered a job to him.

Both are correct and the meaning is the same, but (1) is usually a lot more common- see this NGram. For more information about indirect objects, see here.

  • Hi. sorry for the lent a job. it was pen but I confused it with the upper sentence. Thanks for your answer.
    – titansarus
    Sep 30 '16 at 18:27

This is known as dative shift. Not all verbs can be alternated like this, but for those that can, the meanings are equivalent. You may depending on context hear one version more often than the other.

  • Thanks a lot! I was looking for the rule behind it/ a name to call it by. Nov 28 at 19:05
  • You're welcome. "Dative" is a term borrowed from languages like Latin and Greek, which is why its not otherwise common
    – eques
    Nov 28 at 22:11
  • I learned all those grammatical terms when I learned Latin, but I do use them (it's part of the curriculum) quite a bit when I teach German Dec 1 at 19:58

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