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While looking up this word, I found a weird usage, for example:

She begrudged Martin his affluence

She begrudged her friend the award.

Applying common sense, it's clear that she envied her friend because of the award her friend received. But why is begrudged used in this manner, where the thing which is envied comes after the object? Any other insights will be appreciated. How do such types of sentences fit into longer sentences where multiple clauses are used?

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Why do you think this is unusual? How is it different from other ditransitive verbs? "I begrudged Martin his affluence", "I gave Martin the book", "I passed Martin the salt", "I kicked Martin in the balls". – RegDwigнt Oct 24 '12 at 13:12
The first reference comes straight from ODO. How is that weird? What would you say is not wierd? – Andrew Leach Oct 24 '12 at 13:13
@AndrewLeach I may find things weird even though they maybe perfectly reasonable as i'm a non-native speaker of English. Anyhow, what i meant to ask was, why isn't the first sentence framed like this: "She begrudged Martin's affluence" ? – Karan Oct 24 '12 at 13:31
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Indirect objects precede direct ones in English:

  • I gave him a real tongue-lashing.
  • She begrudged me my success.
  • They asked us our names.
  • Give me a break!
  • Buy her a new car.

The indirect object, or dative of interest, comes after the verb but before the direct object proper.

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I think the problem might be that the OP's confused about which is the indirect and which the direct object for begrudge. After all, you hold a grudge against a person, but you begrudge a thing. – Peter Shor Oct 24 '12 at 13:15
@tchrist Thanks. This also helped: slu.edu/colleges/AS/languages/classical/latin/tchmat/grammar/… – Karan Oct 24 '12 at 13:35
@PeterShor I have been looking for similar be- verbs that take an indirect object. You can find some if you try hard enough, but almost all of them are quite old. Nearly the only contemporary example I could find is that you can bequeath someone your estate. – tchrist Oct 24 '12 at 13:41
What's interesting is that the 'grudge' part is beverbed, while the indirect object gets repeated. A close paraphrase is She held/holds a grudge about my success. A very strange construction. – John Lawler Oct 24 '12 at 14:11

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