pass something to someone/pass someone something

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Anais Ninn, Nov 3, 2006.

  1. Anais Ninn

    Anais Ninn Senior Member

    London, UK
    What's the difference between 1 and 2?

    1. I passed him the ball, but he missed it./ I threw him the keys but he missed them.

    2. I passed the ball to him but he missed it./ I threw the keys to him but he missed them.

    Is #1 illigical?


  2. SweetSoulSister Senior Member

    American English
    To me, they are exactly the same.
  3. Anais Ninn

    Anais Ninn Senior Member

    London, UK
    Thanks again, SweetSoulSister!

    Now, does anyone from UK, NZ, AU, etc. disagree? (Or anyone from US for that matter.)


  4. m5acb New Member

    UK: English
    Well, to be more precise they are different. The first example is poor English in that "He passed him..." means he went past him or passed his position.

    The second example is more correct in that it is less likely to be mis-interpreted.

    However the first example is in common usage, but common usage does not make it correct. Modern language is always changing so whether a phrase or sentence is correct is always up for discussion. What you should ask yourself, is whether a new way of saying something is open to mis-interpretation, because the whole purpose of language is to communicate ACCURATELY.

    Example two is more accurate.

    Kind regards,
  5. nzseries1

    nzseries1 Senior Member

    New Zealand - English
    To me they are the same. M5acb has a point, however I think there is no room for mis-interpretation. The fact that there is an object (the ball) makes it 100% crystal clear to me that "he passed him" refers to passing him the ball rather than going past him.

    Therefore, I think each of the two is 100% as good as the other.

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