Can we leave out to after the verb said in some cases? I'm asking this because I saw it used that way on a website. I think it was a typo, but I would like to be sure.

This is the sentence I found on that website:

I said him that he was intelligent.

In my opinion the writer should have written:

I said to him that he was intelligent.

  • You can just use 'told' instead of 'said'.
    – user33138
    Apr 21, 2016 at 9:46

2 Answers 2


You're correct! You need a "to" there to complete the indirect object (definition of an indirect object: http://englishplus.com/grammar/00000018.htm).

"To" is used to indicate direction and to identify the recipient of something (as taken from here: http://www.wikihow.com/Sample/Too-and-To-Usage), so in this case you need "to" to identify who you're saying things to!

I don't believe that there are any examples of omitting the "to" after "said", but I could be wrong.

Hope this helps, and please ask if you need any clarification!

  • @corjine, I’m sorry, but I’m afraid I don’t understand. Your very source says as example: She gave me the report. Why didn’t use “to”, so that the example to be so: She gave to me the report? Jun 2, 2014 at 6:56
  • Eh...while "She gave to me the report" isn't necessarily grammatically wrong, "She gave me the report" sounds much, much more natural and it is what a natural English speaker would write/say. From what I can tell, in the sentence "She gave me the report", we can infer the indirect object of "She gave" is "me" easily. However, in the sentence "I said to him that he was intelligent", the indirect object is less easily inferred. If we were to get rid of that "to"...a) It sounds incorrect and b)is the indirect object of the sentence "him" or "he"? If I am wrong in explaining, please tell me.
    – corjine
    Jun 2, 2014 at 11:02

Can we leave out to after the verb said in some cases?

The indirect object in verbs that take 2 objects needs to have to in front of it - it can only be omitted if it comes right after the verb.

I gave the ball to him.

I gave him the ball.

but this doesn't work with said - because said doesn't really take 2 objects, even though it might look like it. Similar to walk:

I walked to the park ("the park" is not an object.)

Told can work this way (it has an underlying meaning of give - as in give information - whereas said really doesn't):

I told him the facts.

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