sentence pattern clarification

This question has two conflicting answers. When I read each answer by itself, I think it sounds right and good and convincing. Neither one provides documentation to help me choose between them. I personally am not a stickler for documentation if the answer explains things clearly and convincingly for me, but in this case I just ended up confused about indirect objects.

Could it be reopened, please?

  • The intersection between the set of indirect objects and the set of objects of prepositions is empty.
    – deadrat
    Dec 3 '16 at 6:19
  • That depends entirely on which sets you currently have open. Prepositions and other function words come and go but don't really mark grammatical relations, except as part of a larger system. Dec 3 '16 at 15:57

I disagree with reopening the question as it doesn't show any research. Please consider editing it first before requesting users reopen the question. I will vote to reopen it when it is edited with research.

You could also consider asking your own question based on the old question explaining why it doesn't help you. It is better than reopening an old question and offer a bounty especially when the question was closed for lack of research and detail.

Your new question won't cost you any reputation unless it is downvoted and it could earn you more reputation if it is upvoted. Please make sure you include your research efforts and explain what bothers you most.


What the... I am astounded that anyone would ever nominated that question for reopening. The question needs to specify what definition/schema of sentence patterns it wants an answer for. It's impossible to answer without the OP doing so. And considering the question is over four years old and the OP hasn't been on the site in over a year, I doubt they're going to be filling in that detail any time soon.

For the record, here are several non-equivalent systems for notating these so called sentence patterns:

  • 4
    None of these systems mention the confusing fact that She gave him the book and She gave the book to him are completely equivalent, so that if a noun is the indirect object in one, it must be the indirect object in the other, prepositions notwithstanding. It wouldn't be the first preposition governed by a verb in a particular construction but not appearing in an equivalent one. Dec 3 '16 at 15:54
  • 1
    @John Yep and She gave to him the book is also equivalent, although more marked in style Dec 3 '16 at 15:57
  • "It's impossible to answer" in its current form -- if that's the case, why did tchrist write an answer? Dec 3 '16 at 23:00
  • @aparente001 He is more gifted at mind reading than most Dec 4 '16 at 0:10
  • Are you saying the question was badly posed? I mean, if it was impossible to answer, then no amount of mind reading would have allowed tchrist to answer it. Dec 4 '16 at 2:11
  • @aparente001 It's hyperbole. It would also be possible to write an answer giving an overview of the half dozen or how many schemes there are, but I wouldn't recommend it. Dec 4 '16 at 14:15

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