I'd like to say:

I was going to present you another book.

Meaning, "to make a gift." But from what I can see, "to present" and "to gift" are used in this sense in rather formal contexts. I could probably say "to give," but that doesn't sound like "making a gift." How do you say that?

  • In the sentence in the question, it would be more naturally phrased as the following: I was going to present you with another book. (Note that give does not take the preposition with, and gift works both ways.) – Jason Bassford Oct 9 '19 at 5:21

You are right "to present" and "to gift" are rather formal

present is most commonly used in the format "I present to you the award for..."

In your sentence I would use give, give does mean a present, a gift

I was going to give you another book

Here is a warning: I am waiting for the 'but' at the end of that because of the 'was'.

I was going to give you another book, but Judy said your reading pile is already a year long

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  • On a side note, can you explain the "listening for" part? I probably understand what you mean, but I can't find it used that way. In the examples I can find it means "to wait for a sound." – x-yuri Oct 8 '19 at 12:44
  • @x-yuri I have used a different word, is that better? – WendyG Oct 8 '19 at 13:39
  • Not really. But the discussion sounds off-topic, so I decided to ask another question. To make it clear, I'm not criticizing you, I'm trying to understand why it's okay to put it that way. – x-yuri Oct 12 '19 at 23:21

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