Jen’s English Tip’s – Common Mistakes with Verbs
The verb write can take two objects. Sometimes this causes problems.
Incorrect: He wrote me.
Correct: He wrote to me.
We write something. (He wrote a letter.)
We write something to someone. (He wrote a letter to his mother.) (NOT He wrote a letter his mother.)
We write someone something. (He wrote his mother a letter.) (NOT He wrote to his mother a letter.)
We write to someone. (He wrote to me.) (NOT He wrote me.)
The verb explain can be followed by two objects – a direct object and an indirect object.
Note that we explain something to someone. (NOT we explain someone something.)
Incorrect: I shall explain them this. Correct: I shall explain this to them.
We suggest something to somebody. We cannot suggest somebody something.
Incorrect: He suggested me this. Correct: He suggested this to me.
The verb oblige takes the preposition to. When you are obliged to do something, you are forced to do it because it is a law, a rule or a duty.
I felt obliged to help him.
I am obliged to you for this good turn. (NOT I am obliged of you for this good turn.)
The verb invite can be followed by to or for.
We invite someone to/for something:
I have invited my uncle and aunt to dinner.
He invited me for a drink but I politely refused.
The verb tell does not take a preposition.
Incorrect: He told to me to go. Correct: He told me to go.
When the verb ask is followed by two objects, the indirect object (the person) normally comes first, without a preposition.
Incorrect: She did not ask any question to him. Correct: She did not ask him any question.
Incorrect: I will ask the time to that man. Correct: I will ask that man the time.
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