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Thread: Preposition

  1. #1
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    Preposition

    I don't know exactly, do I have to use preposition "to" with words "to say", "to tell", "to write"?

    So, which sentences are correct: "I am going to write to you something" or "I am going to write you something", "I am going to say to you something" or "I am going to say you something", "I am going to tell to you something" or I am going to tell you something"?

    And what is more usual "I am writing a letter to her" or "I am writing her a letter" (if it is correct)? I mean word order.

    Thanks in advance (Заранее спасибо)

  2. #2
    mike
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    Re: Preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by Tu-160
    I don't know exactly, do I have to use preposition "to" with words "to say", "to tell", "to write"?

    So, which sentences are correct: "I am going to write to you something" or "I am going to write you something", "I am going to say to you something" or "I am going to say you something", "I am going to tell to you something" or I am going to tell you something"?

    And what is more usual "I am writing a letter to her" or "I am writing her a letter" (if it is correct)? I mean word order.

    Thanks in advance (Заранее спасибо)
    For tell you only use it if the indirect object comes afterwards, and usually it appears very rarely. Such an example, and possibly one of the only times it will come up in English, is a sentence like "Yeah, yeah, tell it to the judge."

    For write it depends on the situation, and how unnatural it sounds or doesn't sound. If you are using write in the sense of writing something, like a poem or a song or an essay, then you will not use "to" at all, because the word omitted here is really "for." The only time you will use "to" with write is if you mean you are writing a letter.

    Write me a poem. - Write a poem for me.
    Write me a letter. - Write a letter to me.
    You could also say
    Write me a letter. - Write a letter for me. This would mean like, "Write me a letter of recommendation so I can get this job." This is an uncommon use of the word write.

    With say you sometimes use "to," but it is rare because often it sounds better to use the word tell instead.

    I don't know what she said to them to make them so mad. - I don't know what she told them to make them so mad.
    I said, "What is this doing here?"
    Say something.
    What did he say to you? - What did he tell you?

    ****

    "I am writing her a letter" sounds more like a native speaker. In English the indirect object sounds better when it comes before the direct object. Reversed, it sounds rather formal to me.

  3. #3
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    i also noticed you russians say "how to say" when you want to know a word. i don't know if this is correctr or not, but, the universal way to ask how somthing is said in english speaking countrys is"How do you say" (How do you say star in russian ?) you would reply "звезда". i believe this comes from the word "One". "How does one say the word start in russian?" but i think this has become a little old fasion, and one is omitted and replaced simply with "you". i bet you russians wonder how we get by with only one word for "you" huh ?! you have like 8 or 9 .... crazy !
    Вот это да, я так люблю себя. И сегодня я люблю себя, ещё больше чем вчера, а завтра я буду любить себя to ещё больше чем сегодня. Тем что происходит,я вполне доволен!

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    Re: Preposition

    Quote Originally Posted by Tu-160
    I don't know exactly, do I have to use preposition "to" with words "to say", "to tell", "to write"?

    So, which sentences are correct: "I am going to write to you something" or "I am going to write you something", "I am going to say to you something" or "I am going to say you something", "I am going to tell to you something" or I am going to tell you something"?

    And what is more usual "I am writing a letter to her" or "I am writing her a letter" (if it is correct)? I mean word order.

    Thanks in advance (Заранее спасибо)
    2nd paragraph: the "to" you used is ommited or incorrect. People will still understand what you are saying, but it will sound out of place.

    3rd paragraph: there is no difference.

    4th paragraph: you're welcome.
    Call to a hardware store: "I'm sure you know more about the caulk than I do...tell me...is there a taste to the caulk?".

  5. #5
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    I remember talking to a Russian friend at length about this. I can't remember all the details of our conversation now, but we split English verbs into three kinds:

    1) Ones you can use both ways round:

    I gave him the book. I gave the book to him.
    I sang him a song. I sang a song to him.
    I wrote him a letter. I wrote a letter to him.

    2) Ones, where you can only use the second variety:

    I explained the problem to him.
    I'll say something to him.

    3) Ones, where you can only use the first variety:

    I told him everything.


    I must admit, I may be wrong on some of this , but that's what "sounds right" to me!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by woolliamser
    Ones, where you can only use the first variety:

    I told him everything.


    I must admit, I may be wrong on some of this , but that's what "sounds right" to me!
    I told everything to him sounds fine, but I agree that your one is the one most people would use.
    Эдмунд Ричардович Вудфилд

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