Which one of the following sentence is correct / better ?

The office sanctioned loan to me .


The office sanctioned me the loan.

From my point of view first sentence seems correct to me as it sounds like the office sanctioned the loan to me that is office allowed / permitted / approved a loan to me but the second sentence gives a wrong meaning , atleast to my ears , it sounds like the office sanctioned "me the loan " . ( "me the loan" sounds like a single object which is getting sanctioned by office ) or even if I split 'me the loan ' then it sounds like "me" is getting sanctioned by the office that "me" is getting approved by the office not loan as it is immediately followed by sanctioned.

Am I right ? The confusion arise because as per the book which I second sentence is correct. This is a active / passive conversion question and this was the given statement .

I was sanctioned the loan by the office.

  • La kutima vortumo estas ‘approved me for the loan’ – ekzemple, “The bank approved me for the loan.”
    – Mike Jones
    May 17, 2017 at 13:08

3 Answers 3


Grammatically, both sentences mean the same thing. Consider these very common sentences which display the same structure:

The man gave me the pencil.

English speakers understand that when two objects come after the verb without prepositions, the first is likely the indirect object (the recipient) while the second is the direct object (the thing given).

While this sentence can be parsed as you propose (to make "the pencil" a description of "me"), it would be almost impossible for a native speaker to understand it that way, even if you used very exaggerated inflection.

The man gave the pencil to me.

In this case the order of the objects has been reversed, but the roles have been preserved by inserting the preposition "to" to show which is the indirect object.

Since your sentences about the loan follow this same pattern, they are grammatically and semantically correct, but native speakers will find them hard to understand. There are three reasons for this:

1) The verb "to sanction" is not often, at least on American English, used to refer to approvals granted in the ordinary course of business. It suggests a declaration from a higher external authority, perhaps a government official, that a certain course of action is lawful. Applications are "approved" or "granted". Business decisions are "approved" or "affirmed" by those higher up in the organization.

2) This sentences structure is not usually used with the verbs "sanction" and "approve". But, it is used with "grant" and "give". So you could say "The bank gave me a loan".

3) The verb "to sanction" has a second, nearly opposite, meaning: to take strong action to discourage disapproved conduct. The unusual wording and usage in your sentence will confuse many listeners who will not know which meaning of "sanction" is intended.

There are many idiomatic phrases which you could use. A good one is:

The office approved my loan application.

less formally, this can be shortened to:

The office approved my loan.


"Sanctioned" has a number of meanings, and they are usually different when applied to a person or a loan. See definitions in M-W, for example.

A sanctioned loan is a loan that has been officially approved or in some cases, that complies with regulations or other predefined rules and conditions. The latter usage might be seen in a discussion of whether some series of loans violated the law. "Sanctioned" could be used to describe them as being in compliance.

But in typical usage, "sanctioned" isn't normally associated with personal loans, at least from normal sources. "Sanctioned" is usually reserved for something that is not a routine matter and requires approval at a high level.

Sanctioning a person usually refers to punishing them for violating a law or rule.

So none of your examples are great in terms of normally applied meaning (or grammar). Approving a loan, or approving you for a loan, would be more typical language.


Neither one of those sentences makes much sense. Instead say "The bank approved my loan", or "I was approved for the loan by the bank", or, less commonly, "The bank approved me for the loan".

  • 1
    You can also say "The office approved my loan."
    – David42
    May 18, 2017 at 20:25
  • Good point, I'll add that to my answer
    – etskinner
    May 18, 2017 at 20:26

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