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I was issued the lunch card for the canteen.

I heard this in a listening test, but I think it is wrong: "issue" cannot be used in the same manner as such verbs as "give" and "teach," as in "give A B," and "teach A B."

So, "...was issued with the..." is correct, in my sight.

Am I wrong on this?

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When I first read

I was issued the lunch card for the canteen.

I thought it was grammatical. It wasn't till checking various dictionary definitions and thinking about how to form a sentence in the passive, and making comparisons with verbs similar to issue that I gave up that line of inquiry and decided to just Google the phrase 'I was issued'.

I found out that cities from New York to California use the phrase. So I am going with my initial feeling, although others may wish to do nGrams or make other arguments, I am gonna say it is grammatical based on widespread use. (Note: the usage is not limited to tickets, by the way.)

  • Issue participates in the Dative Alternation, just like give: ① X issued [the lunch card] to me. → [The lunch card] was issued to me (by X).X issued [me] [the lunch card]. → [I] was issued [the lunch card] (by X). – snailcar Oct 22 '14 at 14:34
  • @snailboat What about "I was issued with"? Because that doesn't sound overly bad and does have some usage. Note: I wouldn't say it, but I think some people might say it, if only because "was issued" raises some question in their mind... – user6951 Oct 22 '14 at 20:25
  • Oh, that's separate from the dative alternation―you'll notice *"[I] was given with X" is ungrammatical. So we need to consider this combination a type of idiom, a "phrasal verb". Specifically, it's a verb + preposition phrase idiom (so it's not like "light up [the room]" where up can move to the end of the sentence, giving "light [the room] up"). It has both active and passive versions, too: ③ X issued [me] with a lunch card.[I] was issued with a lunch card (by X). – snailcar Oct 23 '14 at 1:54

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