I am wondering if the following sentence is correct:

We add the information their study provides with to our article.

The context is: their study provides with some information. And we add the information to our article.

I want to keep the word "add", and someone told me that "provides with to" sounds wired...


2 Answers 2


The verb provide has two different subcategorisation frames:

  1. provide something [ to somebody]
  2. provide somebody with something

In the first, the material provided is the object, in the second the recipient is the object.

Both are valid, and both are in common use. The difference between them is the with phrase, which must be there to get meaning 2: if there is only one (direct) object, then meaning 1 is the relevant one (the to phrase is optional).

The stranding you are doing can be grammatical, but because you are using with, it is grammatical only if the recipient is explicit as the direct object

We add the information the study provides us with to our article.

(Thanks to Jonathan Spirit for the example)

If you are not expressing the recipient, you need to use pattern 1, which has no with:

We add the information the study provides to our article.

  • 2
    In AmE, you can indeed say "We add the information the study provides us to our article." See Wikipedia and this ELU.SE question. Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 14:55
  • 1
    That's true in BrE as well, and is an additional complication, but has no bearing on my point, which is that if you use "with", then you have to express the recipient (as direct object). The square brackets in my 1) were to convey that the recipient is optional in that form (of which your example is a regular transform which can generally be applied to bitransitive verbs, eg "Show it to me" = "Show me it".)
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 23:36
  • 3
    Can you provide me with a comprehensible example?
    – Juzer Ali
    Commented Oct 24, 2017 at 6:13
  • In the light of Peter's comment, and the many examples of the ditransitive 3. provide somebody something (usually provide someone a way to..., eg << That may aid in students' development of critical thinking skills and provide them a way to communicate science in a language that is understood. >>... Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 12:27
  • {Pedagogy in a New Tonality edited by Peter Gouzouasis}), shouldn't the first section be revised? Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 12:29

With is a preposition. If we want to say, "provided with," we have to have something that the "with" modifies. We could revise this sentence to say,

We add the information the study provides us with to our article.

In your original sentence, the prepositional phrase "with information" didn't modify any words. In this new sentence, "with information" modifies "us."

You could also use the second sentence, which is equally correct.

  • 2
    I agree with your conclusion, but not your explanation. Many prepositional phrases do not "modify" anything other than the whole circumstance expressed in the predicate (I would prefer to say that they express part of its meaning, rather than modify it). In your example with information doesn't modify us (in the way it would in They saw us with the information); rather, it specifies part of the activity of providing.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 18:58

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.