give me birth and give birth to me


Hi all,

I was taught that give something to someone has the same meaning as give someone something, but I got embarrassed when I said this sentence to my friend: "when my mom gave me birth, ..."
She laughed at me and said that I should have said "my mom gave birth to me" instead, but she can't give me a clear explanation either.
What is the difference? and why can I say it the other way?

  • J Schmidt

    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    She is right. 'To give birth to something/somebody'

    'To give somebody something" is more like giving a present, as in "She gave me a new doll". But you can say "She gave me life".
    < Previous | Next >