Thursday, March 4, 2010

Direct Object and Indirect Object: FAQs

1 What is an Object?

English verbs can be classified as transitive verbs and intransitive verbs . A transitive verb is a verb that takes an object . In other words , it can answer the questions whom? or what? An intransitive verb, on the contrary, is incapable of answering these questions . Examples :

1 Rama wrote a story .

The verb wrote is transitive because it can answer the question what? What did Rama write? the answer is a story. , and it is the object of the verb wrote

2 Rama saw his friend.

The verb saw is transitive because it can provide answer to the question whom? Whom did Rama meet? The answer his friend is the object of the verb meet .

3 Sita went to the temple yesterday .

The verb went is incapable of providing answer to the question whom or what So it i9s called an intransitive verb .

2 What is Direct Object?

There are a few verbs in English called ditransitive verbs They are so called because they take two objects . One of these objects provides answers to the question whom ? or what ? and the other provides answer to the question for whom? or to whom?The commonly used ditransitive verbs are;

give , offer, grant , teach, send, bring, make, buy etc

1 I bought her a beautiful saree.

" a beautiful saree" is called the direct object . to distinguish it from her which is called indirect object .

2 Ramesh gave Sita a lovely birthday present. . Sita is the indirect object and a lovely birthday present is the direct object .

Please note that indirect object is usually a person and both the objects are Noun Phrases .

3 Can we change the positions of direct and indirect objects ?

No! English depends on word-order for meaning and , therefore, indirect object must always come before direct object .

However , in order to give end-focus to the indirect object we can shift it to the end of a sentence as a prepositional phrase It is then called an adverbial rather than the indirect object!


She made him coffee?

She made coffee for him .

I bought her an apple.

I bought an apple for her .

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