4

What is the exact difference in meaning between "I provide her with a TV" and "I provide her a TV" ?

Does "I provide her with a TV" mean "I own a TV. And I give her my own tv." ? Does "I provide her a TV" mean "I do not own a TV. Nevertheless, I give her a tv in any way." ?

What does "with" mean in the sentence? If we don't use with in the sentence, is there a difference in nuance?

8

The expression is provide [someone] with [something]. It says nothing about whether that thing is the provider's own, though if that were so, I give her my TV would be a more natural way of saying it.

I provide her a TV is not idiomatic English. We can say I provide a TV for her.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    If a person were, say, narrating their actions in the present tense, I think "I provide her a TV" would be reasonable to say. Example: "The new employee arrives. I provide her a desk and a computer." In the past tense, it sounds more reasonable: "The new employee arrived. I provided her a desk and a computer." – drew Jul 22 at 13:47
  • 9
    "'I provide her a TV' is not idiomatic English" I don't agree. Could be cultural. But probably not as you're only a few miles away :) – Asteroids With Wings Jul 22 at 15:23
  • 6
    @KateBunting Yes, usually, but omitting the with is not unidiomatic. You can't get that from a dictionary; we call these things "facts on the ground". :) It's okay if you always use the "with" personally. – Asteroids With Wings Jul 22 at 16:25
  • 2
    @CalvT If I provide 3 meals a day, I don't expect them to be returned to me... – user3067860 Jul 22 at 16:35
  • 2
    @KateBunting Sorry if I wasn't clear. I'm not disputing the fundamentals of grammar, nor do I need a lesson in them from some website. I'm telling you what people I know actually say in real life. That's what idioms are. So, no, this is not unidiomatic. – Asteroids With Wings Jul 22 at 18:11
5

Let's examine the sentence structure of both:

I [noun] provide [verb] her [direct object] with a TV [prepositional adverb] .

I [noun] provide [verb] her [direct object] a TV [indirect object] .

Both of these sentences convey the EXACT same information. The noun, verb, direct object are the same, and it is up to the speaker on how to convey the remainder - as either a prepositional adverb or a indirect object, which is just a difference in grammar and has no underlying importance in this example.

Neither sentence delivers any information about who owns the TV.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    You swapped the direct and indirect objects in your second example. (And the first example, her is still also an indirect object) – ryanyuyu Jul 22 at 21:32
1

You can also say: "I provide TV for her"

or: "TV, her I provide"

It all depends on how much of a robot do you want to sound like. Or it can also depend on how much like a robot you want to sound.

| improve this answer | |
0

I provide her with a TV, because a TV is a tangible object. I provide for her - no tangible object; support is real but not an object I provide perspective - same as above, nothing tangible

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    You could also say "I provide a TV for her" – user253751 Jul 22 at 11:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.