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write (to) smb.

English grammar help. Grammar questions from ESL learners

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write (to) smb.

Postby Rustamsher » Thu Nov 28, 2013 2:26 pm

Hello, Alan!

I would like to know which phrase is correct:

(a) 'I am writing you because of the job ad'
(b) 'I am writing to you because of the job ad'.

Our English teacher told us that the first version sounds distinctly strange in the UK and is not appropriate in BrE.
(1) Is there any difference between AmE and BrE?
(2) Can both of them be used in the two versions of English?

Thank you for your time!
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Re: write (to) smb.

Postby Alan » Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:15 am

Yes, BrE uses 'write TO' where 'write' itself has no explicitly specified object (although 'letter' is naturally implied), whereas AmE omits the preposition in this case. When, however, the verb has an explicit object, BrE follows AmE usage in treating the verb as ditransitive.

Therefore, e.g.

He wrote me a letter.

would be the standard form for the sentence in either variety of English, although BrE would also accept

He wrote a letter to me.

where there was some special emphasis on the recipient.
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