I have come across long sentence, in which there is the danger of misunderstanding or there being too many prepositions in succession, phrasal verbs do not conform to the order in which used when we consult a dictionary. For instance, "discuss with somebody something" is used rather than "discuss sxomething with somebody. Am I right?

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    I don't understand your question as written. If "sb" is a person and "sth" is the topic of discussion, either structure is okay. The second option, "discuss sth with sb" is more common in US English. – Edward Barnard Aug 26 '19 at 15:23
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    I don't really understand the question either, but I think probably the "answer" is No. [You are not right]. It's true "discuss with sb sth" IS used (I will discuss with my wife where to go out for dinner tonight). But "discuss sth with sb" is also perfectly valid (I will discuss where to go out for dinner tonight with my wife). Some contexts work better with one sequence than the other, but that's a separate issue. Also, note that to discuss with isn't a "phrasal verb", so that specific word-pair won't have its own dictionary definition anyway. – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '19 at 15:35

It's hard to tell since you don't give an example, but I'm guessing that you are talking about an instance of heavy clause extraposition

Normally, the direct object of a verb comes before any indirect object (except in the case of a ditransitive verb like give, where an unmarked indirect object precedes - eg I gave him the book but a marked one still follows, eg I gave the book to him).

So I discussed the question with the defence lawyer is the normal order.

But heavy clause extraposition allows the order to be reversed when it would leave a short component widely separated from its governing verb, by a much longer component.


I discussed the probability that the judge would allow the evidence of the defendant's brother in law with the defence lawyer.

is grammatical, but difficult to parse (and potentially ambiguous), and would usually be expressed as

I discussed with the defence lawyer the probability that the judge would allow the evidence of the defendant's brother in law.

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