I was reading about ditransitive verbs , and the online guide gave following rules and examples:

First rule: When the indirect object receives the direct object, you change the ditransitive sentence structure from 'S + V + IO + DO' to 'S + V + DO + to + IO'.


(1) 'He will write her a letter professing his love' is changed as 'He will write a letter professing his love to her.'

Second rule:When the indirect object has the action of the verb done for them, you change the ditransitive sentence structure from 'S+V+IO+DO' to 'S+V+DO+for+IO'.


(2) 'Jarod cooked Milia a fantastic gourmet dinner.' is changed as 'Jarod cooked a fantastic gourmet dinner for Milia.'

My questions:

(a) Even in the first sentence, the indirect object 'her' has the action (write) of the verb done for her. So , why can't we say 'He will write a letter professing his love for her'.

(b) In the second sentence, the indirect object 'Milia' receives the 'direct object'. So, why can't we say 'Jarod cooked a fantastic gourmet dinner to Milia'.

Although the sentences (a) and (b) seem grammatically tongue-tied , it seems to me that both rules can be applied to both sentences. I guess I am missing a core point here. Please clarify.
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are you sure it's 'his love to her'? i think it should be 'his love for her'
Thanks, Anon. Please refer the last two lines of my posting.
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These are not the best examples, nor the best conceptualization, for this topic in grammar. It would be better, in my opinion, to learn each verb separately or in groups. Some take the double object construction only [1]. Some take the prepositional construction only [2]. Some take both the double object construction and the prepositional construction [3]. For those in the prepositional construction, the preposition is "to" for some verbs, "for" for other verbs, and rarely, either "to" or "for" (with different meanings).

[1] ask, save, bill, ...
Paul asked me a question. *Paul asked a question to me.
This process will save us a lot of time. *This process will save a lot of time to us.
The electric company billed me $50 too much. *The electric company billed $50 too much to me.

[2] donate to, demonstrate to, confess to, entrust to, ...
select for, compose for, ...
Janine donated her car to her favorite charity. *Janine donated her favorite charity her car.
Irma demonstrated the procedure to the audience. *Irma demonstrated the audience the procedure.
We entrusted the children to Edward. *We entrusted Edward the children.
The agent selected a good insurance policy for the man. *The agent selected the man a good insurance policy.
Vincente composed beautiful guitar music for Marta. *Vincente composed Marta beautiful guitar music.

[3] give, pay, sell, bring, throw, show, ... (to); build, cook, design, play, reserve, ... (for)
I gave the keys to Henry. I gave Henry the keys.
Fred sold the car to Norma. Fred sold Norma the car.
I built a little house for the dog. I built the dog a little house.
Mary cooked a meal for Sue. Mary cooked Sue a meal.

As for your specific questions, you can write a letter to someone (when that someone is the recipient) or you can write a letter for someone (in place of that someone, because they don't want to do it themselves - as a favor to that someone). The example is particularly bad because of the confusion between "letter for her" and "love for her".
Finally, you cannot cook a meal to anyone. The same is true of most food preparation. You cannot mix a drink, boil an egg, roast a chicken, ... to anyone. These all take for or the double object construction.

Thanks for your explanation, CJ. I took the examples from grammarstation.com. So, the verbs really decide the right prepositions--for/to, not these two rules. Right? Would you mind giving a couple of examples based on these two rules. I have a tough time in distinguishing or visualizing the difference between first rule from second rule.
Yes, the verb determines whether "for" or "to" is the preposition.
The point I was trying to make was that the rules don't work!

The rules attempt to make it a matter of formulas for changing double object constructions into prepositional constructions. The problem is that some verbs take only the double object constructions, so they cannot be changed into prepositional constructions.

Even if the rules had been stated in terms of changing a prepositional construction into a double object, they still wouldn't work, because there are verbs that take only the prepositional construction (as posted above).

(The constructions with "to" are often called "dative" constructions, and the ones with "for" are often called "benefactive" constructions, by the way, in case you want to do further research on the Internet on this topic.)

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Thanks much for your tips, CJ.
Hi Jim, your explanations are just fantastic. I'll study them all carefully.

So how would you analyse this sentence:

'He will write her a letter professing his love.'

he = subject / will write = ditransitive verb /

her = indirect object / a letter = direct object /

professing her love = ?? adverbial of purpose ??

See you,

Your analysis is quite acceptable.
A second possibility is that "professing his love" is an adjectival construction modifying "letter", but I like your idea better.
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