Can you explain to me why:

1 He offered me a book to read. - correct grammar

2 He offered me a spanner to fix the pipe. - correct grammar

3 He offered me a book to buy. - wrong grammar (the meaning intended is - He suggested that I buy a book.)

They have the same structure. What's the matter?

2 Answers 2


The object of the verb "offer" must be the thing offered. In the third sentence you are offered the "opportunity to buy a book". That's the meaning you want to capture in "a book to buy". It doesn't work because you are not actually being offered a book.


It's a wrong use of the verb to offer.

  1. He gave/lent me a book.

  2. He handed me a spanner.

In (3), in your intended meaning, the speaker is offering the suggestion that you buy a book, not the book itself.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .