An object often follows the subject and verb in a sentence. By definition, an object is a noun or pronoun that gives meaning to the subject and the verb in a sentence. There are two types of objects: direct and indirect.
Direct objects: They are nouns, pronouns, clauses and phrases. Direct objects follow transitive verbs . You can identify the direct object by using this simple formula: subject + verb + who? or what? Try using this formula to determine the direct object as you consider a sentence.
For Example: Akbar and Tipu ate omelets for breakfast.
Explanation: The subject is “Akbar and Tipu,” and the verb is “ate.” Next ask yourself the question “who or what?” about the verb “ate.” What did the subject ”Akbar and Tipu” eat? They ate omelets. Therefore, the direct object is “omelets.”
Confusing direct objects with subject complements: It is very possible to make mistakes a direct object with a subject complement. By definition, a subject complement is a clause or phrase that follows a linking verb” such as is, are or was , and complements, or completes, the subject of a sentence by describing or renaming it. It is important to note that only action verbs can have direct objects. Therefore, if the verb is a linking one, the word that answers the question of “what” or “who” is a subject complement.
For Example: The housekeeper accidentally locked his keys in his room.
Explanation: “Housekeeper” is the subject, and “locked” is the action verb. What did the housekeeper lock? Answer: His keys, the direct object.
For Example: The housekeeper was happy to find a spare key.
Explanation: “Housekeeper” is the subject and “was” is the linking verb. The housekeeper was what? Answer: Happy, the subject complement.
Pronouns as direct objects: Never use subjective pronouns as direct objects. When you need a direct object, always use the objective form of the pronoun. Object pronouns are “me, us, you, him, her, it, them and whom.”
For Example: After I give my friend a book, she thanks me for the book.
Explanation: “She” is the subject, “thanks” is the action verb and “me” is the direct object.
Indirect objects: They are nouns or pronouns that identify to whom or for whom the action of the verb is performed, as well as, who is receiving the direct object. Indirect objects are seen infrequently. In order to have an indirect object, there is a direct object. The indirect object typically precedes the direct object and is identified by asking who or what received the direct object.
For Example: Ali sent his friend a gift from the post office.
Explanation: “Ali” is the subject, and “sent” is the verb. Ask the question “sent what?” “A gift” is the direct object. To determine the indirect object, ask who received the direct object. “His friend” is the indirect object.
Example: Salman paints the house for his family. Explanation: “Salman” is the subject, and “paints” is the verb. Ask the question “paints what?” “The house” is the direct object. To determine the indirect object, ask for whom did the subject do the action? “For his family” is the indirect object. Sometimes an indirect object comes before the direct object.
Example : Tahira gave him her algebra notes.
Explanation: “Tahira” is the subject, and “gave” is the verb. Ask the question “gave what?” “Algebra notes” is the direct object. To determine the indirect object, ask for whom did the subject do the action? “Him” is the indirect object, and it came before the direct object in this sentence.