Grammar Lesson: Direct and Indirect Objects (page 2)
The Direct Object
A direct object is a noun or pronoun that receives the action of a transitive verb (a verb that has an object) or shows the result of that action. A direct object answers the question ''What?'' or ''Whom?'' after the transitive verb.
In these sentences, the transitive verb is underlined, and the direct object is italicized.
- My neighbor asked us an interesting question. (What?)
- The television set required repair. (What?)
- Tyler edited three errors in her essay. (What?)
- They oiled the skates before lacing them up. (What?)
- We guided him during the mountain climb. (Whom?)
- James met Mr. Hunt in the school's main office. (Whom?)
Lucky Seven: Fill in the direct object with a word having these first and last letters and the total number of letter within the parentheses. The first one is done for you.
- The man greeted his brother (7).
- The baseball coach gave the man on base a s _____n (4).
- This bee gave off a painful s _____g (5).
- Pull the kite's s _____g (6).
- Johnson, a reckless gambler, placed a large w _____r (5) on that horse.
- Sylvia selected a b _____t (4) from the vegetable section of the supermarket.
- Seymour found his old woolen s _____r (7) in the closet.
The Indirect Object
An indirect object is a noun, pronoun, or word group that answers the question ''to whom?'' or ''for whom?'' after the action verb. An indirect object precedes a direct object in the sentence.
In each sentence, the indirect object is italicized, and the direct object is underlined.
- Mr. Higgins gave Penny an award. (To whom was the award given?—Penny)
- Laura gave us a challenging problem. (To whom did Laura give the challenging problem?—us)
- Their efforts earned them a handsome reward. (Earned a handsome reward for whom?—them)
- Can Harold purchase his mother a new home? (Purchase a new home for whom?—his mother)
Note: Remember the difference between an indirect object and an object of the preposition.
- The comedian told her a joke. (The indirect object is her, and the direct object is joke.)
- The comedian told the joke to her. (The direct object is joke, and the object of the preposition is her. There is no indirect object.)
Circle the indirect object, and underline the direct object in each sentence.
- Hillary's minister gave her a compliment.
- Lance lent me some money to attend the concert.
- Dad cooked Mom a delicious dinner last night.
- Have they brought you the newspaper yet?
- Will you please tell her the secret?
- Indirect object: her; Direct object: compliment
- Indirect object: me; Direct object: money
- Indirect object: Mom; Direct object: dinner
- Indirect object: you; Direct object: newspaper
- Indirect object: her; Direct object: secret
The Object of the Preposition
The object of the preposition is the noun or pronoun that follows a preposition and completes the prepositional phrase. The prepositional phrase can also include modifiers.
In the sentence, ''The orange juice box was in the new refrigerator,'' the prepositional phrase is ''in the new refrigerator.'' This phrase answers the question ''Where (is the orange juice box)?'' The object of the preposition is refrigerator. The modifier, or describer, is new.
The compound objects of the preposition are two or more objects, such as ''Mom (and) Dad'' in the sentence, ''The party was paid for by Mom and Dad.''
In each sentence below, underline the prepositional phrase, and circle the object of the preposition.
- Our plans for the trip will need to change now.
- We will need to change our plans for the occasion.
- Unless the Grant family adds more space to their home, they will probably have to move.
- Can you find your way home without me?
- The picture sent from China is breathtaking.
- Will Jermaine be willing to walk the dog after dinner?
- This playground was built by community volunteers.
- All of the puppets were bought immediately.
- The puppets were sold by Christina and Carla.
- Was he waiting long for you and Moe?
(The prepositional phrase is given and the object or objects of the preposition are italicized.)
- for the trip
- for the occasion
- to their home
- without me
- from China
- after dinner
- by community volunteers
- of the puppets
- by Christina and Carla
- for you and Moe
Twenty objects are underlined. There are eight direct objects (DO), seven indirect objects (IO), and five objects of the preposition (OP). Write the two-letter code on the line before each sentence.
- ____ Two Navy officials award Hugo a medal.
- ____ His physician told Brian the best way to lose weight.
- ____ Sylvester gave his sister a gift during the ceremony.
- ____ The cartoons on the large screen entertained us.
- ____ All of the directors gave the young starlet good suggestions.
- ____ Frank gave Jim a hard time.
- ____ After his win, the racer celebrated with friends.
- ____ Give Nancy your bike for this leg of the trip.
- ____ The scientist brought the experiment's results to his colleagues.
- ____ Patsy brought her friends more cold lemonade.
- ____ Brad Lawrence, the hotel's owner, went to the chiropractor last Wednesday.
- ____ Our principal, Mr. Hartill, taught us a valuable lesson.
- ____ Ms. Bossi gave Mr. Shierant the keys to the gymnasium.
- ____ Please bring the book back to Bobbie Brennan.
- ____ Show me the correct method.
- ____ Has Yvonne ever given her sister the secret that we share?
- ____ Wilma walked Dino along the dusty path.
- ____ They found the situation quite alarming.
- ____ I showed Christine the city's new plans.
- ____ Seth remembered the answer after his test had been collected.
Answers to Objects Review
The direct objects are found in sentences 1, 5, 8, 10, 14, 17, 18, and 20.
The indirect objects are found in sentences 2, 6, 12, 13, 15, 16, and 19.
The objects of the preposition are found in sentences 3, 4, 7, 9, and 11.