Niwantha
Do I need "on" in the following context? Hi friends, Do I need "on" in the following context? "on what needs to be done" or "what needs to be done" ??? 1) Since you will be on leave, please instruct Alex on what needs to be done. 2) Since you will be on leave, please instruct Alex what needs to be done. Thanks in advance! Niwantha
Jul 29, 2019 5:08 AM
Answers · 4
I would say that “instruct on” as a verb here isn’t natural. (Though not ungrammatical ) Please tell Alex what needs to be done. Please tell Alex what he needs to do. Please let Alex know what he needs to do. Please give Alex instructions for what to do while you’re on leave. “Instruct” as a verb would be rarely used. “Teach, tell, show” are much better. I was instructed to wait here until the police arrived. (More formal, followed by the infinitive, not a preposition) The professor instructed the class to begin.
July 29, 2019
Yes you do need the second "on" Instruct Alex "on" = give Alex instructions show as well as tell. Tell Alex what to do = change of verb you do not tell "on" what to do, you only communicate "what to do" Tell and instruct both have an element of "telling" but instruct also has an element of showing/guiding/commanding somebody. instruct Alex on is being more specific. tell Alex what needs to be done = only a general outline. "instruct Alex on what needs to be done, they need to ensure that A the orders go out in the correct order, B to receive signatures from the post office, C to hand the signature sheets into the account office every day, D lock up the shop every day, E to turn on the alarms before leaving and Finally F to ensure everything runs smoothly" "Tell Alex to go the the post office every day get sheets signed look after the shop and lock up everyday" Things change when there is a change of verb that does not show in dictionaries.
July 29, 2019
You do need "on." The word "instruct" can take an indirect object, but not a direct object. So you can instruct someone ("he instructed the students to read the next chapter"), but you can't instruct something. We normally use the preposition "to" -- you instruct someone "to" do something. Instructing someone "on" something is a little more colloquial, but it sounds okay. Another option for your sentence is "inform," which usually takes the preposition "of" (you inform someone "of" something). "Please inform Alex of what needs to be done." Or you can simply say, "Please let Alex know what needs to be done." / "Please tell Alex what needs to be done."
July 29, 2019
when "on" is used, it is something that an action is done to it. There is some context before hand on which this "something" is referenced and so in subsequent sentences, we can leave it out. For example, "Don't forget to ask Alex to call up a customer. Since you will on leave please instruct Alex on what needs to be done". We now know that Alex needs to call up that customer and is prepared enough what additional things needed to be done first before calling". Without the "on", it means in that Alex needs to do in general while you are on leave.
July 29, 2019
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!