Direct and Indirect Objects, What Are They?

So What are Direct and Indirect Objects?

The noun or pronoun, by definition that gives meaning to the subject and the verb in a sentence.  Direct and indirect objects used in a sentence.

A Direct Object

Nounds, Pronouns, clauses and phrases are direct objects.  Transitive verbs will follow a direct object.  Use this simple formula to identify the direct object: subject + verb + + who? or what? = DIRECT OBJECT.  Here is an example of direct objects used in sentences:

Example: Mark and Alice ate cereal for breakfast.

Subject = Mark and Alice
Verb = ate
Who? or What? = Mark and Alice ate cereal
Direct object is cereal.

Complicating Subject Complements With Direct Objects

A direct object can easily be mistaken for a subject complement.  A subject complement is a clause or phrase that follows a linking verb, by definition.  For instance is, are or was, and complements, or completes the subject of a sentence by describing or renaming it.  It should be noted that only action verbs can have direct objects.  Thus if the verb is a linking one, the word that answers the question "what" or "who" is a subject complement.  Here is an example:

Example: The Judge accidentally locked his keys in the car.

Judge = Subject
Locked = Action verb
What did the Judge lock? Answer = his keys the direct object.

If You Need a Direct Object Always Use the Direct Form of the Pronoun

Don't use subjective pronouns as direct objects.  Object pronouns are: me, us, you, him, her, it, them and whom.

Example: After I gave my daughter Lydia a lollipop, she always kisses me with her sticky mouth.

Subject = She
Action verb = Kisses
Direct object = Me

An Indirect Object

Nouns or pronouns are the indirect objects that identify to whom or for whom the action verb is performed, and also who is receiving the direct object.  Seldom seen are indirect objects.  You always need both an indirect and direct object in a sentence.  An indirect object will predate the direct object and is identified by who or what received the direct object.  For example:

Example: James sent his aunt a postcard from Florida.
Subject = Samuel
Verb = Sent
Ask the question "sent what"? Answer = A postcard is the direct object.  To determine the indirect object, ask who received the direct object. Answer = His aunt is the indirect object.

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