"He signaled me to drive away." OR "He signaled to me to drive away."

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    Both are fine. Note that all of these slightly different, and not exhaustive, examples are also fine: (1) He signalled a left turn. and (2) He signalled me a left turn. (3) He signalled to me a left turn. (4) He signalled to me to make a left turn. Some are more idiomatic than others, but they are all syntactical. May 11, 2020 at 17:54
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    (The signal can be of a general nature or it can be directed to you specifically. I could signal you to drive away, but, in theory, send that signal to somebody else. (Frank, I'm sending a signal for Jane to drive away to you. Please relay the message.) May 11, 2020 at 17:59
  • I'd say that both are acceptable. Additionally, the object or the PP complement can be omitted altogether, cf. "He signalled to drive away", where the understood object or PP is recoverable from the context. In all three cases we understand that he signalled to me that I should drive away.
    – BillJ
    May 11, 2020 at 18:17
  • @Jasson Bassford Can you find an authority saying that 'He signalled me a left turn' is 'syntactical'? If so, I'll add it to my list of verbs undergoing the ditransitive /benefactive transformation. May 11, 2020 at 19:08
  • When asking something like this, include in the question your results from a dictionary.
    – GEdgar
    Jun 10, 2020 at 23:28

1 Answer 1


You can use both constructions (ngram) but the construction without "to" is more common.

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See also "OALD, 1".

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  • You need to copy the information from the links into the body of your answer. Link-only answers aren't acceptable. If links become invalid at a future point, the answer becomes useless. Insert a screenshot of the Ngram as well as describing the results, and copy the relevant text from the dictionary. (And more exposition than just a single sentence about both being fine would be useful.) May 11, 2020 at 18:51

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