Which is the correct English out of the following sentences?

I gave her your number.

I gave your number to her.

Please explain me the better ways to form the above sentence.

  • Why do you think that only one of them is correct?
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Aug 3, 2022 at 15:40

3 Answers 3


Both ways are correct English.

I gave her your number

This is a perfectly fine response, and the slightly less formal of the two.

I gave your number to her

This is a slightly more awkward construction, but is also slightly more formal.

One thing to note is that in some contexts, they can imply that something else has happened since then (especially if you stress the word "gave", e.g. "I gave her your number, it's not my fault she hasn't called!").

There are a couple of other constructions that emphasise the past tense on its own:

I've given her your number (or I have given her your number)

Both of these are perhaps more natural to hear to an English speaker, especially the first one (because "I have" is contracted to "I've"), and can emphasise that you've simply completed the action and given the number.

  • 7
    As an American English speaker, "I gave her your number" sounds more natural than "I've given her your number." British English tends to use the present perfect (I've + present participle) more frequently than American English.
    – WillB3
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 15:50
  • 2
    @WillB3 It's funny, but now you mention it, they feel natural when I hear them in my head with the respective accents, but I can't say I knew about the difference in usage before. Thank you.
    – Myles
    Commented May 23, 2017 at 23:40
  1. I gave her your number.

  2. I gave your number to her.

As fixer1234 said both are fine, grammatical, and idiomatic. They are just different in pattern; the former is called dative-movement pattern and the latter is called a prepositional pattern. In the dative-movement pattern, the indirect object is taken out of the prepositional phrase.

Though both are fine, you have to remember that if the direct object is a form of pronoun, the dative-movement pattern is not usually possible.

"I gave her it" ?


Both are fine and both are correct English, however, look at this Ngram chart. Ngram Chart

As you can see the "gave [someone] your number]" is much more frequent than "gave [someone's] number to".

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