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Hi,

Would you let me know which of the following two sentences is correct?

(1) The price he informed me of is very high.

(2) The price he informed me is very high.

I guess (1) is grammatically correct but it seems that Google shows more results of (2) structure. If so, does it mean that (1) is correct but (2) structure is also widely accepted by people?

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Hi, Yun,

The verb "inform" is sometimes incorrectly used instead of "tell": I tell you something -> I inform you something.

Fowler says something about it, but does not refer to the pattern:

Inform, a FORMAL WORD for tell, is too much used, especially in COMMERCIALESE and OFFICIALESE. There is something about it that makes for verbiage. I have the honour to inform you, I beg to inform you, I would inform you, are generally unnecessary preludes to giving the information promised.

My understanding is that the appropriate patterns are:

- I inform you that ...

- I inform you of / about something.

Perhaps David can tell us whether, as a native speaker, he finds the ditransitive pattern "inform somebody something / inform something to somebody" at least acceptable in everyday usage.

The verb "inform" is sometimes incorrectly used instead of "tell": I tell you something -> I inform you something.

Fowler says something about it, but does not refer to the pattern:

Inform, a FORMAL WORD for tell, is too much used, especially in COMMERCIALESE and OFFICIALESE. There is something about it that makes for verbiage. I have the honour to inform you, I beg to inform you, I would inform you, are generally unnecessary preludes to giving the information promised.

My understanding is that the appropriate patterns are:

- I inform you that ...

- I inform you of / about something.

Perhaps David can tell us whether, as a native speaker, he finds the ditransitive pattern "inform somebody something / inform something to somebody" at least acceptable in everyday usage.

Hi, Yun and Gustavo—So far as I know, no ditransitive (double object) pattern with "inform" exists. If some speakers use "inform" that way, with two NP complements, I have never had the opportunity to hear or read such usage, and, if I had had the opportunity, I would surely have found it ungrammatical:

(a) He informed me of the news.
(b) *He informed me the news.

I checked my edition of Fowler (the first edition) and did not find an entry for "inform." In the above quote, however, he is not discussing a ditransitive pattern, at least in the sense of a double-object pattern. In each of the italicized formulations in the quote, there would be a "that"-clause complement.

@yun posted:

Would you let me know which of the following two sentences is correct?

(1) The price he informed me of is very high.
(2) The price he informed me is very high.

I guess (1) is grammatically correct but it seems that Google shows more results of (2) structure. If so, does it mean that (1) is correct but (2) structure is also widely accepted by people?

Only (1) is correct. Sentence (2) will only be correct if a comma is used after "price" and "me": "The price, he informed me, is very high." And that means: "He informed me (that) the price is very high." If you want to use the ditransitive, double-object pattern in (2), use a different verb, like "quote":

(2a) The price he quoted me is very high.

Last edited by David, Moderator

I checked my edition of Fowler (the first edition) and did not find an entry for "inform." In the above quote, however, he is not discussing a ditransitive pattern, at least in the sense of a double-object pattern. In each of the italicized formulations in the quote, there would be a "that"-clause complement.

Thank you, David, for stepping in.

Please note that I only referred to the fact that Fowler, in the edition I have (which is the 2nd one, revised by Gowers), mentions that "inform" is sometimes overused instead of other more suitable reporting verbs, and my interpretation was that this might account for some people incorrectly using it as a ditransitive verb. However, I was clear that he did not say anything about the pattern:

Fowler says something about it (i.e. the verb inform), but does not refer to the pattern:

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Last edited by Gustavo, Co-Moderator

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