Direct Objects for intermediate learners

Generally, an object is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that usually comes after the verb. In this article we will talk about the direct objects.

"Direct Objects" in the English Grammar

What Are Direct Objects?

Objects are words upon which the action of the verb is acted. They can be nouns, noun phrases, or pronouns. These objects are used after transitive verbs. In this lesson, we are going to learn all about them.

Transitive Verbs and Direct Objects

Some verbs are transitive which means that they need an object otherwise they will be incomplete. This type of verb can have more than one direct object with it. Take a look at the following examples:

When will you discuss the book?

Here, if you remove 'the book', the sentence will remain incomplete.

I can only give you ten dollars.

As you can see, if you remove either of the objects, the sentence will be incomplete.

Now let us analyze how nouns, noun phrases and pronouns can function as direct objects separately:

Nouns as Direct Objects

There are some verbs in English that require nouns as their objects. Therefore, it is not important whether that noun is proper or common, countable or uncountable, and singular or plural; any noun can function as the object. Let us study the following examples carefully:

Johnny talked to a cat on the street yesterday.

Here, 'cat' is used as the object and it is a common noun.

I saw Peggy on my way to school.

Here, 'Peggy' is the object and it is a proper noun.

Noun Phrases as Objects

Noun phrases consist of two or more nouns combined together. They can sometimes function as objects. Take a look at the examples below:

Yesterday, I read an article on 'The Revolt of the Angles'.

She corrected all the grammatical mistakes.

Pronouns as Direct Objects

As you know, pronouns are substitutes for nouns when we want to avoid repetition. First, let us go over objective pronouns quickly:

Subjective Pronouns Objective Pronouns
I Me
You You
He Him
She Her
It It
We Us
You You
They Them

Now, let us take a look at some examples below:

Give it to Anne.

As you can see, 'give' needs two objects in order to be complete.

Would you please tell us what happened?

Finding Direct Objects

In order to find the direct objects in a sentence easily, you can try using question words such as 'what', 'who', and 'whom'. Take a look at the following examples:

I told mother the good news. (What did I tell mother?)

They saw Alexa on the way. (Who did they see on the way?)


It might come in handy to know that gerunds can function as objects, too. Take a look at the following examples:

I love dancing ballet in front an audience.

Does she enjoy playing poker with her grandfather?


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