Which of these sentences is grammatically correct?

  1. I wanted to share with you the outcomes of today's board meeting

  2. I wanted to share the outcomes of today's board meeting with you


Share, discuss, and explain -- and possibly other transitive communication verbs -- have direct objects but don't take an indirect object like tell, so they can't do normal Goal Advancement (also known as Dative Alternation, Dative Movement, or just Dative), which exchanges the position of the indirect and direct objects, and loses to:

  • Bill brought the book to Mary. ~ Bill brought Mary the book.
  • Bill told the story to Mary ~ Bill told Mary the story.

One of the purposes of Goal Advancement is to move heavy NPs to the end of the sentence (there are a lot of rules that do this in English -- Extraposition and There-Insertion are examples), but without an indirect object one must use prepositions to indicate the addressee.

However, Goal Advancement has extensions for certain cases, and this seems to be one. For instance, a benefactive for phrase can be added to any volitional sentence:

  • I bought the book for Mary. ~ I bought Mary the book.

and, provided that the recipient (Mary) winds up possessing the direct object (the book), this works. If this is not true, however, it doesn't:

(i.e, I didn't transfer the tire to Mary by changing it)

In these cases, informational transfer happens, but these are not benefactive, and the verbs use different prepositions to indicate addressee/recipient, so the prepositions have to remain. But they can switch position with the direct object. Similarly,

  • He shared the poll results with you. ~ He shared with you the poll results.
  • He discussed the poll results with you. ~ He discussed with you the poll results.
  • He explained the poll results to you. ~ He explained to you the poll results.

Both are grammatically valid.

However, the first one uses a slightly unusual word order.


I wanted to share the outcomes of today's board meeting with you.

... is to be preferred.

The key to getting this kind of thing right is to look at what native speakers write and say, and copy their sentence structures.

  • 2
    They're both equally grammatical, and if anything, the first is to be preferred because the heavy noun phrase is at the end of the sentence, where it's easier to parse. – John Lawler Feb 24 '12 at 17:54
  • Agreed. Also it's preferred because the object is closer to the verb. I want to share X with you. X goes with share. – Lynn Feb 24 '12 at 18:13
  • 1
    It's just a matter of how many words we're comfortable to have separating "share" and "with". It would be an unusual word order if the thing shared was more concise - "I wanted to share with you this joke", for example, sounds decidedly odd to me. Equally weird would be "I wanted to share the outcome of the board meeting I had with Tom, Dick, and Harry in London last Wednesday afternoon with you". – FumbleFingers Feb 24 '12 at 18:28
  • Even worse: *I shared with Bill it, *I gave Bill it, *I told Bill it. Pronouns make the rules go bouncy. – John Lawler Feb 24 '12 at 22:03

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