Friday, November 2, 2007


While reading through the readers' feedback of a magazine, I saw this message from a satisfied reader: "At first, I was not sold to the idea of your magazine, but I learned to enjoy it." What I want to blog about is the mistake found in the expression, sold to.

We know that the word sold is the past tense of the verb, sell. This verb means to exchange goods for money: "I sold my iPod for a good price." However, it also means to convince someone to buy into or accept an idea, item, etc.: "I sold her on the idea of celebrating her birthday in Tagaytay." It also means that the speaker is convinced by an idea: "I am sold on the idea of buying a new car." Both sentences mean that someone was convinced by something. If you want to use the verb sold in this way, the correct expression is sold on and not "sold to."

In the sentence I got from the magazine, the writer was saying that at first, she was not convinced by the idea of the magazine but that she eventually learned to appreciate it. Since this is the case, then she meant that she was sold on the idea.

Sold to, however, is correct if you want to say that an item was sold to someone: "I sold my iPod to my cousin" or "That item was sold to your neighbor." It is never used to say that someone was convinced to buy into something. Where this is concerned, we use sold on.

By the way, I will be in Bacolod this weekend. See you again either Monday or Tuesday.

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