• She confessed the murder.
  • She confessed to the murder.

What is the difference in the meaning between both sentences? If there is not any difference, why is that?


she confessed the murder is not a common phrasing, but you will find examples of it here and there, especially if crime fiction is your thing. However, when say "confess", we're usually thinking of the complete expression which is to confess to something. So, she confessed to the murder is fine. You could also say I confess I did it. Here, however, I confess is used to mean I admit that I did it and now feel guilty because of that.

  • "Confess" can take a direct object, e.g. "He confessed his sins". – BillJ Nov 16 '17 at 8:17
  • Sure it can, but not in the context where we're talking about murder. – Michael Rybkin Nov 16 '17 at 8:18
  • There are plenty of references to "confess the murder" Here's just one link – BillJ Nov 16 '17 at 8:30
  • Can you find me a passage from a news article where they say that somebody confessed the murder? – Michael Rybkin Nov 16 '17 at 8:32
  • 1
    @BillJ - That's one link, and here are a bunch of others – J.R. Nov 16 '17 at 11:14

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