“She had listened with an impassive face; that sudden flush had disappeared and it was once more, as usual, pasty and sallow. ‘I don’t think you’ll much like the truth if I tell it you,’ she said.”–BEFORE THE PARTY by W. Somerset Maugham
In the phrase “If I tell it you,” “you” comes after “it” without the accompanying preposition “to.” Don’t you think that this should read “If I tell it to you” or “If I tell you it”?
Without question, you are right. An English speaker would say, “If I tell it TO you” or “If I tell you it.” the first would be better.
Somerset Maugham’s style of writing was awkward. He was trying to be dramatic and literary. I don’t believe any Canadian, American, Brit, or Australian would speak like that.
Agreed. While he was a wildly popular author, even Maugham himself admitted that he was never going to be a first-rate writer.