advantage <to> a company

faza62

Senior Member
Farsi, Iran
context:

The ability to bring widely dispersed staff together, [...], has created new opportunities for sharing experience and ideas. Capturing and turning this capability into a competitive advantage to a company or not-for-profit organization is an emerging challenge for managers.

from Organisation Theory:Concepts and Cases By Stephen P. Robbins/Neil Barnwell, page 476


In the above, the bold is mine. what is the meaning of to in the above? does it mean for or above, or possibly anything else?

Thanks
Ali



 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The "to" is the dative "to"1, and can often be substituted by "for". It shows (i) the direction in which the "a competitive advantage" moves: it moves to (towards) the company or, (ii) in the case of "for", it shows who/what receives the object (competitive advantage.)

    I gave a present to my friend.
    I made a cake for my friend.

    1This construction has remained in English from Anglo-Saxon, the very earliest English, about 1400 years ago.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Since there is no such thing as a dative case in English, it might be more useful to think of the person or thing as the recipient of something (i.e. the company receives the advantage).
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    So you are explaining the use of to + preposition by referring to something that no longer exists.

    I believe there are two cases in Farsi, which do not include the dative case.

    In what way is it helpful to someone learning English to be told that in the sentence I gave Mary a pen Mary is in the dative case?
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    So you are explaining the use of to + preposition by referring to something that no longer exists.
    No. You may be misunderstanding: the adjective "dative" exists and is a legitimate use whether or not the "dative case" exists.

    It is helpful as it is accurate. See the link I provided and
    OED
    dative: 1. Grammar. In ancient Greek, Latin, German, and other inflected languages: designating a case of nouns, pronouns, and of words in grammatical agreement with them, the central function of which is to indicate the indirect object or recipient of a verb (equivalent to the modern English prepositions to or for followed by a noun); of or relating to such a case, or the relation expressed by it
    The bolded words agree with my post, and yours. :)
     
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