Indirect Object with Verbs of Saying

A group of verbs, most of which come from Latin and refer to saying or speaking, use only the to-form of the indirect object.

For example:

The teacher explained the lesson to us. (NOT The teacher explained us the lesson.)

address
announce
ascribe
attribute
commend
confess
credit
dedicate
describe
dictate
disclose
divulge
explain
express
impart
introduce
leak
mention
propose
prove
recommend
refer
relate
relay
repeat
report
reveal
say
speak
suggest
unburden

Example sentences:


She addressed her remarks to the students.
He attributed his success to hard work.
They broke the news to the press on Monday morning.
We commend his soul to the deep.
He confessed his involvement in the crime to the police.
He credited his success to staying focused.
He dedicated his life to the search for knowledge.
She described the assailant to a police artist.
She dictated the book to an assistant.
Company representatives disclosed their plans to purchase a factory in Ohio.
He divulged his plans to a journalist.
He explained his motives to detectives, police said.
French President Jacques Chirac expressed his condolences to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He imparted his knowledge to his students.
The first season of The X-Files introduced us to Agents Scully and Mulder.
They leaked the report to the media.
She mentioned the restaurant to her students.
The committee proposed the new policy to the Board of Directors.
Velikovsky unsuccessfully tried to prove his thesis to the academic community.
Captain Pasley recommended the young man to Captain Bligh in 1791.
His doctor referred him to a specialist.
He related the story to me over dinner one evening.
The spy relayed the information to his superiors.
He repeated the story to his friends at work.
They never reported the incident to the police.
He revealed his secret to his friend.
You should have said something to her.
The look on her face spoke volumes to me.
Someone suggested the idea to a professor at Berkeley.
She unburdened herself to her best friend.


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This page was last modified on 06/15/10

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