Which of the following is correct being grammatical?

He can't do to people whatever he wants.

He can't do whatever he wants with people.

He can't do whatever he wants to people.

He is the subject; whatever he wants is the indirect object; people are the direct object.

What structure should be followed?

1 Answer 1


All three of your examples are grammatical but the direct object of "do" is "whatever he wants". That is what is "done".

There are no indirect objects in the examples, but there are preposition phrases that are complements of the verb "do". In those phrases, "people" is the object of the preposition.

All of the three structures work. The version that has the phrase "with people" could have a slightly different meaning, depending on context. Usually, though, if you are doing something "with" people (using them for some purpose), you are also doing something "to" people.

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