What is the meaning of "I read the catcher the signal" ?

Does "I read the catcher the signal" mean "I read the catcher's signal" ? Or does it mean "I read the singal and I give the signal to the catcher" ?

1 Answer 1


It would mean "I read the signal to the catcher," which is basically the second option you described.

This seems like a strange thing to say, though, so I think that it's more likely that this sentence just contains a mistake, and that the writer meant to say your first option, "I read the catcher's signal."

  • i saw at youtube: source :=====> youtube.com/watch?v=UsjiUaghPEE&t=45s
    – user22046
    Sep 2, 2017 at 9:44
  • Okay, he didn't make a mistake. He does mean "I read the signal to the catcher." He is comparing "I read the catcher the signal" to " I read the catcher's signal" to show you the difference and remind you that "catcher's" is not a noun and isn't an indirect object, even though it's based on a noun and comes between the subject and direct object.
    – Eikre
    Sep 2, 2017 at 9:54
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    It means there was a signal, you saw and understood the signal, and you told the catcher what the signal was. It wouldn't mean that any signal was made by the catcher. So, if you had a situation where the catcher broke his glasses and couldn't see your coach signalling him from far away, but you see it and tell him was your coach was signalling, you could say "I read the catcher the signal." You can compare this to a sentence like "I read the child the book." The book is separate from both you and the child.
    – Eikre
    Sep 2, 2017 at 10:45
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    I think the YouTube guy was trying to make good grammar examples, not examples of situations that actually made sense. He could have said something very silly like "I bit the electricity the philosophy," or even complete nonsense like "I vlefted the briffle the nischitz," and it would be complete nonsense, but you would still be able to say that the briffle was an indirect object just from seeing its place in the sentence.
    – Eikre
    Sep 2, 2017 at 10:52
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    No. It doesn't say anything about where the book came from and it doesn't mean you give the child the book afterwards. When you "read to somebody," it means you say out loud everything that you read, so that somebody else can understand it. If you "read the child the book," all it means is you open the book and tell the child everything written on its pages.
    – Eikre
    Sep 2, 2017 at 11:38

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