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What are Direct & Indirect Objects?

Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.

What is Object in Grammar?

What is Object in Grammar?

What is an Object?

In grammar, an object is a noun, pronoun, or a group of words, which receives the action of the verb. For example, in the sentence He hit the ball the word ball is an object of the sentence, while the pronoun He is the subject. The object ball is affected by the action of the verb. Similarly, in the sentence Saleem is watching a movie the word movie is an object, while Saleem is a subject.

Types of Objects

There are three kinds of objects: Direct Object, Indirect Object & Object of a Preposition

Direct Objects

A direct object is a noun, pronoun, or a group of words, which receives the action of the verb directly or is influenced by the action of the verb. For example, in the following sentences, the highlighted words are direct objects:

  1. Saleem is playing cricket.
  2. She likes to eat apples.
  3. Pakistan won the Cricket World Cup in 1992.
  4. She has written a novel.
Direct & Indirect Objects

Direct & Indirect Objects

How to Identify Direct Objects?

An important feature of direct objects is that they are used with transitive verbs. First, find out the transitive verb in a given sentence and then add WHAT or WHOM after the verb and answer the questions WHOM or WHAT. The answers you get to these questions are direct objects. Look at the following examples:

Transitive Verb+What or Whom= Direct Object

  1. He thanked Joe. (He thanked whom? Joe)
  2. Ahmad has written a book. (Ahmad has written what? A book.)
  3. The snake bit Adela. (The snake bit what? Adela)
  4. The teacher appreciated his students. (The king appreciated who? Students)

You can see that the answers Joe, Book, Adela and Students are all direct objects.

Indirect Objects

Indirect objects are those objects which are indirectly affected by the action of the verbs through direct objects. They are always used with direct objects. That’s why; direct objects are necessary for the presence of indirect objects. Look at the following sentences, wherein the highlighted words are direct objects, while the underlined words are indirect objects.

  1. Sebastian gave him a book.
  2. Marry lent me some money.
  3. Ahmad handed him his camera.
  4. My father bought me a watch.
  5. Have you sold him a car?
Indirect Objects

Indirect Objects

How to Identify Indirect Objects?

If you know the action verb and direct object in a sentence, then, it is very easy to identify the indirect object. Indirect object answers TO WHOM or FOR WHOM. For example:

  1. Ali gave her a book. (Q: To whom did Ali give a book? A: Her)
  2. Adela lent Saleem her own camera. (Q: To whom did Adela lend her own camera? A: Saleem)
  3. Imran bought a gift for Nazeer. (Q: For whom did Imran buy a gift? A: Nazeer)

Object of a Preposition

Object of a preposition is a kind of object which is preceded by a preposition. Consider the following sentences:

  1. I saw him near his house.
  2. They came close to me.
  3. He was fighting against India.
  4. The book is under the table.
  5. This riddle is beyond my understanding.

The highlighted words are prepositions, while the italic words are objects. Each object in the above-mentioned sentences is preceded by a preposition. That’s why; they are called objects of a preposition.

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. What is an object in grammar?
    • An object is a noun or pronoun.
    • An object is a name of something.
  2. What is an indirect object?
    • Indirect object is a noun or pronoun that does not receive the action of the verb.
    • Indirect object is a noun or pronouns that receives the action of the verb.
    • Indirect object is a noun or pronoun that acts upon a direct object.
    • Indirect object is a noun or pronoun that is indirectly affected by the action of the verb.
  3. What is a direct object?
    • Direct object is a noun or pronoun which is not affected by the action of the verb.
    • Direct object is a noun or pronoun which is indirectly affected by the action of the verb.
    • Direct object is a noun or pronoun which is directly affected by the action of the verb.
  4. Is HIM a direct object in the sentence: I gave him a book.
    • Yes.
    • No.
  5. Is the word CAMERA an indirect object in the sentence: She sent him a camera.
    • Yes.
    • No.
    • May be.
    • I don't know.

Answer Key

  1. An object is a noun or pronoun.
  2. Indirect object is a noun or pronoun that is indirectly affected by the action of the verb.
  3. Direct object is a noun or pronoun which is directly affected by the action of the verb.
  4. No.
  5. Yes.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2015 Muhammad Rafiq

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