The passage is as follows:

There are lots more advantages to a mobile phone other than the merits mentioned above. With the countless developments that it has brought and is still bringing people, one can say that it is everything in one portable handheld device.

So basically this passage talks about the advantages of a mobile phone. What I don't get is the phrase "With the countless developments that it has brought and is still bringing people". Aren't we supposed to use "bringing to people" instead of "bringing people"? I would be glad if you could help me understand why the phrase "bringing people" is correct.

  • 3
    In your sentence, "people" is in the dative case (= to or for people). This is a vestige of Old English that had grammatical cases. See Dative Shift in Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dative_shift "People* can be seen as the indirect object, or as an adverbial – Greybeard Aug 14 '20 at 10:21
  • 1
    ... On the other hand, 'lots more X's other than' is at best unusual. – Edwin Ashworth Aug 14 '20 at 10:34
  • I don't see the problem. Nobody ever said there should have been an extra preposition in the movie title Bring TO Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia. Though whether technology can "bring people developments" seems more a matter of questionable semantics than syntax. – FumbleFingers Aug 14 '20 at 11:14
  • Thank you all for answering my question! – SupernovaArbiter Aug 14 '20 at 11:35
  • 1
    @Ram Pillai 'Besides the advantages already mentioned, there are many others.' – Edwin Ashworth Aug 14 '20 at 16:24

I would analyse it more simply as "With the countless developments that it [[has brought] and [is still bringing]] people ___", where the anaphoric gap is the direct object, and "people" is the indirect object, of both verbs.

CGEL:1292 has this example: "the book [which you recommended and she enjoyed so much]" in which they understand the relative pronoun "which" as object of both "recommended" and "enjoyed".

As for the presence of "to", I personally find the sentence marginally clearer with it than without it, though both are grammatically sound. With "to", "people" functions as an oblique complement of the verbs; without "to" it is an indirect complement.

[This was intended as a comment on BillJ's answer.]


With the countless developments that it [has brought ___ ___] [and is still bringing people ___]

The bracketed elements form a coordination of two VPs.

In the first coordinate, the two gaps represent the Oi "people" and the Od "developments". In the second coordinate 'gap' represents the Od "developments".

There is nothing to be gained by replacing the Oi, i.e. the recipient "people", with the PP "to people".

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