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In all dictionaries I looked at, there are examples of the structure, "swap something for something" and "trade something for something," but there are no examples of "swap something" or "trade something". So I wonder if we can use the structures "trade something" and "swap something". What I mean is, I only see sentences like "I swapped/traded my guitar for another," "I swapped/traded my computer for a gaming console" etc. instead of "I swapped/traded my guitar," "I swapped/traded my computer" etc. So I wonder if it is wrong to not add "for..." to those sentences. For example let's say I am having a guest. He asks, "Where is your blue guitar? It doesn't seem to be around." If I swapped/traded that guitar for another thing, and if I don't want to tell him what I swapped/traded it for, can I answer this question by saying,

"I traded it."

or

"I swapped it."

Or would they be grammatically wrong? Do we always have to add what we swapped/traded it for in sentences like these?

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Do we always have to add what we swapped/traded it for in sentences like these?

No--if it's not specified, either context will fill in that information, or the speaker/writer doesn't think that what it was swapped for is important.

Something you or others might be thinking: A verb like give generally requires both direct and indirect object to be specified. Swap isn't a two-object verb like give so it doesn't work the same way.

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  • Thanks. I know we can say sentences like "We swapped phones," "We traded places," "We swapped our cars" etc. But the case I am talking about in the OP is different. You can understand what I mean, right? – Fire and Ice Dec 7 '20 at 21:41

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