• All I can say is give them rest.
  • All I can say is to give them rest.
  • Give to me.
  • Give me.
  • We just asked him to join our dance trope.
  • We just asked him join our dance trope.

Should I use "to", or not?

  • Proofreading is off-topic for ELL. Please see: ell.stackexchange.com/faq
    – Matt
    May 7, 2013 at 19:07
  • @Matt: I don't see this as proofreading, but I agree with you that it could be framed better as a generic question on when to use to, and when not to use to.
    – J.R.
    May 7, 2013 at 20:21

1 Answer 1


The first phrase could go either way, but if you choose the first form you should probably use quotation marks, or at least a comma, since that construction actually puts those words in your mouth, making the rest of the sentence a paraphrase or quotation.

All I can say is, "give them rest." All I can say is, give them rest.

The second phrase is wrong in both forms, I think. You need an object, e.g.

Give it to me.

You definitely need the "to" there. Children and very causal speakers may use "Give me", or, more commonly, the shortened slang form "Gimme", to imply the longer phrase "Give that to me", but you shouldn't use this in most situations.

In the third phrase, "to" is absolutely necessary. You asked him to join your dance group.

  • The only exception on the "give me" question is when you add more words: "Give me the scoop."
    – J.R.
    May 7, 2013 at 18:19
  • Yes, for sure. If the rest of the sentence is added, it's a fine construction, but used as a full sentence, it doesn't usually work. May 8, 2013 at 12:20

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