Often I have to request access to specified resource for specified person. Is there any error in any of these forms and what is better to use?

Grant somebody access to something Grant access to something for somebody

  • Please spell out smth and smb, as I did in my edit. A question here is a formal communication and words should be spelled out, especially in the title.
    – ab2
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 18:59
  • 1
    They are both acceptable. I like the first because the “for somebody” at the end of the second is just slightly more ambiguous than I’d like, although in context nobody would likeky bat an eye
    – Jim
    Commented Feb 7, 2019 at 19:02
  • @Jim why not add this as an answer? Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 16:41
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    As Jim noted, they are both acceptable, but I would like to add that the 'canonical' example of such duality concerns the verb 'provide' - e.g., "I provided the guests with chairs." and "I provided chairs to the guests." Here, the second one, using 'to' instead of 'for', lacks the ambiguity complained of by Jim. (This duality sort of reminds me of the 2 forms of De Morgan's Law.) Commented Dec 18, 2023 at 19:55
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    I’m voting to close this question because it is a basic query about the dative transformation, 'grant X Y' vs 'grant Y to X'. Stylistically, switching the verb might be the best change to make. Commented Apr 19 at 15:05

2 Answers 2


I would usually say "Please give me access to this database" ("grant" is a bit more formal).

So your first example "Grant somebody access to something" is slightly more correct, though both are clearly understandable.

The man gave the biscuit to the dog. / The man gave the dog the biscuit.

Please give the biscuit to the dog. / Please give the dog the biscuit.

The administrator gave their colleague access to the database. / The administrator gave database access to their colleague.

Please give your colleague access to the database. / Please give database access to your colleague.

Either way around is fine but sometimes you have to insert "to" in order to make it clearer what's going on.

  • 2
    Yes, there are completely fine alternatives, but the question is specifically about "grant".
    – Joachim
    Commented Apr 20 at 11:29
  • in the case where you're using the word "grant", I would definitely say "Grant somebody access to something" as it sounds more natural to me. But it is a style question more than a grammar question, as several commenters have noted. Commented Apr 23 at 13:51

Grant is fine, as are your examples. You can also use:

  • Allow. I'll allow you to x, y, and z...
  • Permit. You're permitted to x. You have my permission to x.
  • Bestow. I'm bestowing the ability to do x unto you.

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