In the sentence below:

The photos may cause offence to some people.

The preposition 'to' is confusing. I think there are three possible meaning of 'to'.

  1. In the direction of sth
  2. To show the person or thing that receives sth
  3. Concerning sth/directed towards

Please let me know what is correct answer.

Source 'to' : enter link description here

1 Answer 1


The definitions overlap, but (2) the person that receives something, is the closest.

The people who receive a view of the pictures may be offended. The idiomatic way of expressing this is "X is offensive to Y" when Y is the person who receives the offensive thing X.

But "to", in this example is a functional word. It doesn't carry very much meaning, and the sentence is better understood as a whole. "Be careful about these photos, some people won't like seeing or thinking about them."

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