Subject + indirect object + direct object:
"Give him it."
Subject + direct object + preposition + indirect object:
"Give it to him."
Similarly, "Give it to John" is ok. But what's the wrong with "Give John it" ?
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
Its correct, but as Kate says "awkward".
The problem seems to be one of "end weight". Fluent English sentences tend to put longer structures at the end.
Give John the book.
This follows this principle. The two word structure "the book" comes last.
Give it to John.
This also works, the "weightier" prepositional phrase is placed last
Give John it.
The pronoun is very short, and the proper noun "John" is weightier. So this is slightly awkward. Not ungrammatical, and not hard to understand, but most people would choose "Give it to John." instead.