"They was trying to hand me out a flyer."

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Jul 12 17:56:56 UTC 2011

On Jul 12, 2011, at 8:36 AM, Baker, John wrote:

>        All of these work for me as a speaker of American English, at
> least in informal contexts.  Why does "hand me out a flyer" throw me for
> a loop?

> Could you hand me down that book?
> I'll fry you up some eggs.
> She wrote me down a list of chores.
> Pick Carol up some asprin at the chemist.

part of the answer is that the examples you like are benefactive, or can be understood as benefactive.  "hand out a flyer to me" is straightforwardly a transfer V+Prt+DO+[P+NP] construction, and those don't generally have V+NP+Prt+DO alternatives for most Americans.


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