In English we can always meet verbs such as "give","write","send",“buy”,"save"……ect.

The common of the given words above can carry two objects called "IO" (Indirect Object) and "DO" (Direct Object). The IO usually means "accepter" of the verb, while DO stands for "the actual thing" or what the verb meets...So generally speaking, we can say:

The girl gives me a book


The girl gives a book to me.

Another example is:

She bought me a car.


She bought a car for me.

Now here comes an intersting question:

  1. Can almost every verb carrying IO + DO be converted to "verb + DO + prep + IO" in gramma?
  2. Anything special or any rules in English studying (Considering both IO and DO are nouns only)?
  • 1
    The question does not arise. NPs that are objects of a preposition are not indirect objects but complements of the preposition. For example in "She bought a car for me", "me" is not indirect object but complement (object) of the prep "for".
    – BillJ
    Oct 19, 2022 at 7:28

1 Answer 1


I suppose that it depends on what you mean by "almost every verb". There are certainly some situations in which a noun sounds better functioning as an IO than as an object of a preposition. For example:

Give peace a chance.
?Give a chance to peace.


Give her a call.
?Give a call to her.


Do me the honor of dining at my home.
*Do the honor of dining at my home to me.

These expressions are somewhat idiomatic, but there are plenty of others, too.

(By the way, please proofread what you write or use a spell-checker. It wasn't very easy to read what you'd written.)

  • OK, I've formatted my question. And what I mean "every verb" is that "every verb +IO + DO" can be converted with "verb + DO + prep + IO" (So we can hardly find a verb without converting to this form)?
    – Beginner
    Oct 19, 2022 at 6:26
  • Yes; the fixed expressions (give him a break, took the dog a walk ...) usually don't allow such reformulation. Some (give peace a chance) seem neither strictly ditransitive nor benefactive. Oct 19, 2022 at 11:59

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