Could you use to in this sense?- "Property 'to' men" or does it have to be "Property 'of' men"

  • 4
    Depends on the context. Consider this: "The tyrant gave all his property to the men in the family; the women were left penniless." You can use "to" when you are talking about transferring property. You use "of" when you are saying the property belongs to someone.
    – AIQ
    Commented Oct 23, 2019 at 0:09

2 Answers 2


Property (a noun) takes "of" for its owner. There doesn't happen to be a verb derived from property that expresses that relationship.

Belong (a verb) expresses that relationship, and takes "to" for its owner.

Own (a verb) has the owner as its subject, and the property as its direct object.

There is no rule, or particular reason, why this should be so: it is just the way those particular words happen to behave in current English.


The property belongs to David.

The property of David has been donated to an orphanage

The property of John has been increasing by leaps and bounds

The first sentence means David owns the property.

The second sentence means David's property has been donated.

Third sentence means John's property is increasing.

You can use to or of based on the context.

  • In no case does the to go with "property". In the first sentence it attaches to belong, and in the second case to _donate(d).
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Dec 9, 2020 at 16:39

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