The Right Position for Pronouns
A common mistake for learners of English is to put pronouns in the wrong place in the sentence.
Pronouns are words like you, I, he, she, we, they, me, your, his, him, her, us, our, etc.
Let’s do a quick test to see whether you have this problem.
Is this sentence correct?
A I’d like to ask something to you.
The answer is no, this sentence sounds strange.
It should be: I’d like to ask you something.
How about this sentence?
B Could you recommend to me some book?
No, this is incorrect.
It should be: Could you recommend some book to me?
Or: Could you recommend me some book?
So, what have we learned here?
You can put “to me” at the end of the sentence.
Or you can put “me” after the verb, but not “to me.”
Now have a look at sentence C and see whether you can correct it yourself:
C Please send to me the lessons.
This is incorrect!
It should be: Please send me the lessons.
Or: Please send the lessons to me.
So the rule is:
You can use a pronoun after the verb, but not with “to.”
You can only use “to” with a pronoun in the middle of the sentence if the verb has “to” always, such as speak to. When you use speak, you always use “to.”
Here are some more examples of correct sentences and incorrect sentences:
1 Correct: I gave the lighter to him.
Correct: I gave him the lighter.
Incorrect: I gave to him the lighter.
2 Correct: I spoke to her this morning.
Incorrect: I spoke her this morning.
3 Correct: We’d like to see you on our hike next weekend.
Incorrect: We’d like you to see on our hike next weekend.
4 Correct: Please pass me the salt.
Correct: Please pass the salt to me.
Incorrect: Please pass to me the salt.
5 Correct: Please tell them to hurry up.
Incorrect: Please tell to them to hurry up.
Incorrect: Please tell to hurry up to them.
Correct the following sentences:
You can do this exercise online and check your answers, here.
1 Incorrect: Please tell to him to comb his hair.
2 Incorrect: I am sending the assignments to check to you.
3 Incorrect: I replied him by email.
4 Incorrect: Please help to me to get better.
5 Incorrect: I’m trying to interest in buying a new telephone to her.
6 Incorrect: I’d like to ask to you for a refund.
7 Incorrect: I do apologize for causing to you any inconvenience.
8 Incorrect: I’m writing you to inform you about something.
9 Incorrect: We wish to you happy holidays.
10 Incorrect: We’d like to inform to you that the marketing session has been postponed.