Which would be correct? Or are they equivalent?

  • I present this award to Sam and to Tom.
  • I present this award to Sam and Tom.
  • 1
    They're both grammatical, and they'd both be fine. There may be a small difference of meaning; which I hope somebody will explain in an answer. If Sam and Tom worked as a team, I'd recommend the second choice. Nov 24 '12 at 14:09
  • +1 @Peter: I didn't think of their having worked as a team. No need for me to add it to my answer now because you've already said it. Good suggestion.
    – user21497
    Nov 24 '12 at 14:20
  • The second one, "to Sam and Tom" makes it possible to perceive Sam and Tom as a unit. That's not possible in the first one. If you intend them to receive the award as a unit, choose the second. Otherwise, either is fine. Probably most native speakers would prefer the second unless they specifically wanted to make it clear Sam and Tom weren't to be seen as a unit receiving a single award. Nov 24 '12 at 18:50

If it's a single award to two people and they have to share it (e.g., it's a solid gold loving cup and there's only one in the world), then I'd say "to Sam and Tom". If each gets a separate iteration of the same award (e.g., it's a solid brass loving cup and there are two, one with Sam's name inscribed on it and one with Tom's name inscribed on it), then I'd use "to Sam and to Tom".

However, because it's the same award, it shouldn't matter which one you choose.

  • Since it doesn't say these awards, I think only the second seems a better choice.
    – Noah
    Nov 24 '12 at 14:27
  • @Noah: If the sentence had said "these awards", I'd've assumed that there were two different awards being given out, in which case, my answer would've been different. I can see the presenter giving one cup to Sam & one cup to Tom & saying "to Sam & to Tom". I can also picture the presenter giving a single cup to Sam & Tom & saying "to Sam & Tom". When a team of songwriters gets the Oscar for best theme song, there's only one statuette, & it goes to Sam Cooke & Tom Jones. I recognize that my interpretation & choices are only one set of multiple possibilities. I can't argue with yours.
    – user21497
    Nov 24 '12 at 14:58
  • Surely two people can get the same award (though hopefully different certificates / medals ...). Nov 24 '12 at 16:26
  • @Edwin: Surely they can, but for some awards, there is only one: the Stanley Cup, for example, so the team gets the cup and all the pro hockey players on the winning team get championship rings.
    – user21497
    Nov 24 '12 at 16:39

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