Direct and Indirect Objects
A direct object is the object in which the verb is acting on. For example, in the sentence “He sold his car,” “car” is a direct object. An indirect object is the recipient of the direct object, as in “The man gave his wife a necklace.” “Necklace” is the direct object, and “wife” is the indirect object.
Hi, and welcome to this review of direct and indirect objects! In this video, we’ll define what the object of a sentence is and take a look at the differences between direct and indirect objects. Let’s get started!
To begin, let’s go over what an object of a sentence is. An object is a word or phrase that is affected by the action of the verb. In other words, the object will receive the action of the verb. In the sentence “Jake threw the ball,” the word ball is the object because that is what is being thrown.
Objects are split into two categories: direct and indirect. As the names suggest, a direct object is directly affected by the verb, while an indirect object is indirectly affected. That’s a pretty simplified explanation, so let’s take a closer look to see how this works.
A direct object is a noun or pronoun that directly receives the action of a verb. A good way to find a direct object in a sentence is to find the verb and then ask the question who or what.
Let’s look back at the example sentence from earlier.
The object in this sentence, which we identified as ball, is a direct object. If we look at the verb (threw) and ask “who/what is being thrown,” the answer is ball.
Here’s another example sentence:
The verb here is ate, so we would ask “who/what was being eaten” to find the direct object. In this case, the word bacon answers that question, so bacon is the direct object of the sentence.
Now, take a look at this sentence:
If you follow the steps we took for the last two examples, you should notice that this sentence does NOT have a direct object. There is no word that answers the question “who/what is being stood.” Remember, a sentence does not need to have an object for it to be a sentence; all it needs is a subject and a verb.
Now let’s take a look at indirect objects. Instead of receiving the action directly from the verb, the indirect object receives the action directly from the direct object. That’s where the indirect connection to the verb comes in. A good way to find an indirect object in a sentence is to find the verb and then ask to/for whom or for what.
Let’s look at an example:
First, let’s find the direct object, since that is what the indirect object is taking the action of. The verb in this sentence is gave, and the word that answers “who/what is being given” is pencil. Now that we know the direct object, we ask, “To whom was the pencil given?”. Ren gave her pencil to Colin, so Colin is the indirect object.
Here’s one more example:
Let’s go through the same steps as before. The verb here is sent, and the word that answers “who/what is being sent” is letter. Now we ask, “To whom was the letter sent?” Yvonne sent the letter to me, so the indirect object of the sentence is the pronoun me.
Okay, let’s go over a couple of review questions before we go.
1. What is the direct object of the following sentence?
“My dog ate the sandwich I left on the table.”
The word sandwich is the only word that answers “who/what was being eaten,” so it is the direct object of the sentence.
2. What is the indirect object of the following sentence?
“The teacher gave Emily an A on her exam.”
The direct object of the sentence is the word A because that’s what the teacher gave. When we ask “to whom was the A given,” the word Emily is the only word that answers the question, so it is the indirect object of the sentence.
That’s all for this review! Thanks for watching, and happy studying!