Can anyone explain the grammatical logic, if any?

Many thanks.
1 2
No logic; simple usage. Different verbs require different prepositions, or none at all:

Explain to me
Say to me
Tell me
Ask me
Shout at me
Elucidate for me
I was trying to puzzle out a rule for this but I cna't come up with one.

But, if you think about it, tell me or tell to me (tell me a story: tell a story to me) mean the same thing.

Explain me and explain to me do not mean the same thing. Explain to me = I want something explained. Explain me = you need to explain my actions/beliefs etc. In the 'to me' there is something else involved that is being explained. 'explain me' means that I myself am the subject of the explanation.
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Nona The Brit 'explain me' means that I myself am the subject of the explanation.
That's an important point. 'explain me' should be avoided for that reason alone, if not specifically meant "I myself."
I was trying to puzzle out a rule for this

There isn't any 100% rule, but there is a 97% rule!

For indirect objects:
One-syllable verbs take only the pronoun.
More syllables: to + pronoun.

tell me, show me, bring me, ask me, write me, buy me, send me, ...
explain ... to me, describe ... to me, deliver ... to me, reveal ... to me, ...

But offer me, say ... to me. Emotion: sad

Verbs derived from Latin take to; verbs derived from German don't.
(Also not 100%.)

While we're on this topic, I'd be interested in knowing what everyone's feelings are about the following sentence (i.e. is 'me' correct or incorrect?):

Can you recommend me a hotel?

(I'm interested specifically in the verb recommend.)

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Personal reaction only: No. recommend me doesn't work. Actually, I'm not happy with recommend to me, either. Again, just a personal preference: I would say simply Can you recommend a hotel? (me or to me is unnecessary.) If the pronoun absolutely must be included, then it's Can you recommend a hotel for me? (i.e., please do a favor for me, namely the favor of recommending a hotel -- alternately, a hotel which would be good for me).

Thanks, Jim. That reflects my own preference and thinking. Would there be anybody at all who would use 'recommend me' in your neck of the woods?

I'm still hoping for some feedback from others, especially from our British cousins since I've heard that this sort of recommend me usage would not be unusual in the UK.
No, I don't believe I've ever heard anyone around here use recommend me (something).

I hadn't heard that British usage was different on this point, but it certainly could be.

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