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I've looked in all the major dictionaries and there is no such way of using "offer."

  1. I offered him with a raise. <= incorrect (according to dictionaries)
  2. I offered him a raise. <= correct

But a quick Google search shows that many people use (1). Is it because it's correct or is it because it's natural to some people?

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  • 1
    The search was too quick. Google tells me No results found for "I offered him with a raise". Oct 1 '13 at 22:11
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    @user814064, most of the hits in that Google search are not the same thing as ‘offering someone with a job’. Rather than being of the type, “She offered him a job”, they are of the type, “She offered him a job, with a smile”; i.e., the ‘with’ clause is not directly connected to the verb ‘offer’. Oct 1 '13 at 22:27
  • Thanks. I didn't search for "I offered him with a raise" exactly. Try "offered her with", "offered them with" or "offered him with" instead.
    – user52139
    Oct 2 '13 at 1:31
  • You may have seen a construction where with went with the object, not the verb. For example, I offered him spaghetti with meatballs. Oct 2 '13 at 5:39
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*I offered him with a raise is not correct. I don't know where you read that construction, but I don't recall ever seeing it.

Perhaps this happens sometimes when people confuse it with constructions like I presented him with something and I gifted him with something.

From the Oxford English Dictionary on the verb present:

11.a. trans. "To bring or place (a thing) before or into the presence of a person, or to put (it) into his hands, for acceptance; to offer, proffer, deliver, hand over, bestow, give (usually in a formal or ceremonious manner)."

...

13.a. to present a person with a thing = "to present a thing to a person" (sense 11). Formerly in the full extent of sense 11; now always implying bestowal of something as a gift to be kept (11 (a)). Also fig. "to furnish or supply with something". ...

... 1831 Southey Lett. (1856) IV. 247 Mrs. Bray...has desired to present you with a copy of Mary Colling's poem.

The verb offer has no such construction.

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  • Even I presented him (with) something would usually use a direct object rather than a preposition. Oct 1 '13 at 22:11
  • @BraddSzonye: But at least it is possible... Oct 1 '13 at 23:12
  • I'm not sure whether it's generally acceptable. I checked a few dictionaries, and the intransitive senses of present relate to manifestation (esp. of medical conditions) rather than giving. Also, presented him with has the same problem of an indirect object without a direct object. I think I've heard it before, but think it's colloquial and pleonastic. Oct 1 '13 at 23:18
  • I dug a little deeper and discovered that present has a transitive sense meaning “give to.” Thus, him is actually the direct object in presented him with, and the prepositional phrase describes how he's presented. Oct 1 '13 at 23:23
  • @BraddSzonye: Umm perhaps we are talking about a different sense of present. I am talking about I presented him with a book = I offered him a book. OED: 13a. to present a person with a thing = "to present a thing to a person" (sense 11). Formerly in the full extent of sense 11; now always implying bestowal of something as a gift to be kept (11 (a)). Also fig. "to furnish or supply with something". ... 1831 Southey Lett. (1856) IV. 247 Mrs. Bray...has desired to present you with a copy of Mary Colling's poem. Oct 1 '13 at 23:26
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Offer in this sense is normally transitive, with the thing offered (a raise) as direct object and the recipient (him) as indirect object:

I offered (him) a raise.

Most dictionaries also attest a few intransitive senses of offer, but in practice they are used in specialized or archaic contexts. For example:

“That's not a raise, that's an insult,” he objected.
“Hey, I offerred.

Furthermore, English does not usually permit an indirect object without a direct object, so it's unnatural to write “I offered him” with a prepositional phrase instead of a direct object. In contrast, it's fine to omit the indirect object or replace it with a prepositional phrase:

I offered a raise (to him).

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  • My gripe is not with the absence of an object, which is possible in examples like your, but with using with to introduce the thing given. Would you really consider that possible at all? I mean, sure, I can make unlikely but possible sentences like I offered him with a raise a chance to escape poverty. But that is surely not what the OP intended... Oct 1 '13 at 23:19
  • Actually, after digging into the grammar of presented and gifted, I realized that my answer here is slightly off the mark. The problem is not the lack of the object, but that the wrong thing is the object (him instead of a raise). Oct 1 '13 at 23:26
  • Exactly! That switch is possible with some verbs, but not with offer. Oct 1 '13 at 23:28

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