What's the meaning of this expression? to see someone to bed



Here is a sentence and it has the expression 'to see someone to bed'

Last night her bodyguard saw her to bed.

These are my guess.

(1) He took her to bed to make her good sleep.

(2) He just saw her sleep in the bed.

(3) He was watching when she went to bed

Could anyone give me some explanation for this expression?


Park Mike

Posted 2018-01-01T12:58:04.530

Reputation: 161



To see {someone} to {destination}|{into a place}

means to accompany them to the destination, for example, to ensure that they reach the destination safely, or because good manners or protocol dictate that they be so accompanied.

Her bodyguard saw her to the car.

The usher saw the wedding guests to their seats.

The nurse saw the patient into the examination room.

P.S. Compare the use of the verb see where it means "assume responsibility for (doing) something".

The house-sitter agreed to see that their plants were watered.


Posted 2018-01-01T12:58:04.530

Reputation: 116 610


There is also to see out - to go to the door with someone who is leaving.

– ColleenV – 2018-01-01T13:10:05.703

Saw her to bed or saw her to the bed? – dan – 2018-01-01T13:25:26.667

It is "saw her to bed" but would that be a different meaning with 'the'? – Park Mike – 2018-01-01T13:26:01.753

4@dan: to bed and to the bed mean different things. It's a question often asked here on ELL. "To the bed" refers to a specific actual bed: The nurse put an extra pillow on the bed. Whereas to bed refers abstractly to the action of going to one's sleep or rest. Goodnight, everyone, I am going to bed. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-01-01T13:33:21.627


@dan The answers to Why is there no article “the” before “bed” in “in bed”? might help

– ColleenV – 2018-01-01T13:36:37.293

It's not the greatest part of the English language imo. I don't hear that many people using the phrase , although I have heard it several times before. We usually say "put her to bed" or "Took her to bed" depending on the circumstances :) – Big T Larrity – 2018-01-01T15:11:09.603

@Super MegaBroBro: To what does "It" in your statement refer? Secondly, your phrases mean something entirely different. To "see" someone to bed does not mean to "put" them to bed or to "take" them to bed. Those are collocations, each with its own meaning, whereas to "see" someone to bed is not a collocation. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-01-01T16:03:53.450

Sorry, by "It" I was referring to the queried expression in the original post. (ie. "Last night the bodyguard saw her to bed" , or more specifically the "..saw her to bed" part of the sentence) – Big T Larrity – 2018-01-01T16:07:33.837

Saw her to bed does mean either of those things. I have never heard "Saw her to bed" be used literally as in "watch her get into bed" – Big T Larrity – 2018-01-01T16:08:46.903

@Super MegaBroBro: Sorry, you're wrong about that. To see someone to bed (as used in the OP's example) means NEITHER of those things. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-01-01T16:09:27.513

What does it mean then? I've lived in England my entire life and never heard it mean anything else – Big T Larrity – 2018-01-01T16:10:20.417

I stand by my original statement in that it is not great English in the first place and gets little to no use – Big T Larrity – 2018-01-01T16:13:16.400

If see {someone} to bed is a collocation in British English which has the sexual meaning "to take someone to bed, to have sex with a person" then it is not one I'm familiar with. Please answer the OP's question with an answer to that effect, mentioning the meaning, and if you get upvotes from native British speakers I will be happy to edit my answer to add a disclaimer that my answer applies to American English. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-01-01T16:14:18.613

As to your comment about "it" being "of little use" I have no idea what you even mean by that. Are you objecting to the use of the verb see in the manner I define in my answer? You really do have to stop using the pronoun in a way that demands ESP from others. – Tᴚoɯɐuo – 2018-01-01T16:15:59.040