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Wich of the two sentence is the right one? why?

a) He never tried to mend things on his own and left everything to her

b) He never tried to mend things on his own and left everything on her

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  • We usually leave a burden to someone else, or put the burden on them. But nothing is set in stone for such trivial preposition usages. It's less likely, but there's nothing actually wrong with using for as an alternative in your context. And maybe other prepositions could be squeezed in instead, I dunno. Feb 3, 2021 at 18:33
  • ...next time you have a "preposition" question like this, consider whether you could just pass an appropriate search string to Google NGrams. It's too long to fit an actual link complete with search string into a comment box here,but follow this link and replace the default search text Albert Einstein,Sherlock Holmes,Frankenstein with leave everything * me. The output will show you which words occur most often in the position of that "wild card" asterisk. Feb 3, 2021 at 18:39

1 Answer 1

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In general, in the context of doing work, "leave (something) to (someone)" just says that you will not do it and expect that the other person will do it instead. Depending on the situation and relationship, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, it may just be a normal and expected course of events, so it doesn't imply anything about how the other person feels or is affected by it (it could be good or bad).

However, saying "leave (something) on (someone)" usually has more of an implication that it is a burden to them in some way. So your second sentence conveys the impression that this is not a good situation, and he is likely being inconsiderate towards her by expecting her to do the work instead of him.

Both can be used and technically mean the same thing, it's just a question of the feeling that the sentence conveys. This may also vary somewhat based on context (for example, in a lot of contexts, the burden may be obvious enough that you don't need to use "on" to show it).

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