Forgetting To Use “To” Before The Object

If you speak English, there are some verbs that you use again and again. Be/is/was/were/am. Have/had. And so on.

Plus, a lot of verbs about communication: listen, talk, explain, introduce, respond, reply. Now what if I told you, lots of people make a big mistake when using these words?

The mistake: not including the word "to" after them. With these words, if you include an object, you need to include the word "to" as well.​ You're lucky that it's such an easy mistake to correct! 

Here are some examples:

to listen:
I listened him carefully.
– incorrect
I listened to him carefully.  – correct.

to happen:
A funny thing happened me on the way to the Forum. – incorrect
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Forum. – correct

to say:
I can’t believe he said that me! – incorrect
I can’t believe he said that to me! – correct

to talk:
I was so excited when Angela Merkel talked me! –  incorrect
I was so excited when Angela Merkel talked to me! – correct

to explain:
He explained me it. -incorrect
He explained it to me. – correct

to look forward:
I am looking forward meeting you. – incorrect
I am looking forward to meeting you. – correct

to introduce:
I introduced myself the other people at the party. – incorrect
I introduced myself to the other people at the party. – correct

to respond:
I forgot to respond the letter. – incorrect
I forgot to respond to the letter. – correct

to reply:
I quickly replied the email. – incorrect
I quickly replied to the email. – correct

Practice Using these Verbs with the word "TO"

In the comments below, write at least 5 sentences using these verbs, and I'll give you some personalized feedback:
listen
happen
say
talk
look forward
respond
reply
introduce 
explain

With some verbs, the preposition “to” is needed before the object. In this case, “to” is the “dependent preposition”.

For example:
I listened him carefully. – incorrect
I listened to him carefully.  – correct.

Here are some other common verbs that require “to” when they have an object:
to happen:
A funny thing happened me on the way to the Forum. – incorrect
A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Forum. – correct

to say:
I can’t believe he said that me! – incorrect
I can’t believe he said that to me! – correct

to talk:
I was so excited when Angela Merkel talked me! –  incorrect
I was so excited when Angela Merkel talked to me! – correct

to explain:
He explained me it. -incorrect
He explained it to me. – correct

to look forward:
I am looking forward meeting you. – incorrect
I am looking forward to meeting you. – correct

to introduce:
I introduced myself the other people at the party. – incorrect
I introduced myself to the other people at the party. – correct

to respond:
I forgot to respond the letter. – incorrect
I forgot to respond to the letter. – correct

to reply:
I quickly replied the email. – incorrect
I quickly replied to the email. – correct

ReplyTo ListenTo

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