I am curious that the difference between lead to and lead something/somebody to.

I know the verb lead can be used both intransitive and transitive way.

What I want to know is that lead to, which is synonymous to cause, give rise to has same meaning with lead something to.

Does lead something to have the same meaning with cause and result in?

2 Answers 2


X lead(s) to Z means if you follow X, you will get to Y.

X lead(s) Y to Z means Y is following X, and X and Y will get to Z.

Both can be used to talk about results or causes.

This leads to disaster.

This will lead your friend to disaster.


First of all, I am curious about the difference,

not I am curious that the difference.

Yes, you can use the verb "lead" as either an intransitive verb or a transitive verb.

Are they the same meaning? It depends on the context. They can be almost the same meaning in a similar context.

Stress can lead you to do bad things.

"You" is a direct object and "to do bad things" is an object complement. However, both of them are connected to the verb "lead".


Stress can lead to doing bad things

"To" is a preposition, so after it, you need to use a noun/noun phrase or verb+ing form.


Stress can lead to bad things.

They all are the same meaning.

  • 1
    I don't agree that they have the same meaning. Doing bad things means that there is an agent of the bad things. Whereas without doing, things could simply occur. For example, if I'm stressed I could do bad things by snapping at people and making bad decisions. However, stress could also cause me to break out in a rash—without any action on my part at all.. Commented Jun 20, 2018 at 5:14

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