Objects

Simply put, an object is a noun or pronoun representing the person or thing that is affected by the action of the verb. Here, we'll explain more.

intermediate
"Objects" in the English Grammar

What Are Objects?

An object is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that receives the action of the verb in a sentence. In a sentence, the subject performs the action, while the object receives the action.

Objects: Types Based on Structure

There are three main types of objects in grammar based on their grammatical structure (the makeup of the words):

  1. Simple objects
  2. Compound objects
  3. Complete objects

1. Simple Objects

Simple objects are made up of a single word (sometimes a word plus a definite or an indefinite article) that acts as an object. They can be:

  1. An object personal pronoun
  2. A masculine or feminine proper noun

I met him yesterday.

She called Marcus to invite him to the party.

I love Sally.

Object Personal Pronouns

Personal pronouns can be either subjects or objects in a sentence. In the table below, you can see the list of object personal pronouns in English:

Singular Object Pronoun Plural Object Pronoun
First Person Me Us
Second Person You You
Third Person (M) Him Them
Third Person (F) Her Them
Third Person (N) It Them

2. Compound Objects

A compound object, as the name suggests, is comprised of two or more nouns or pronouns. Take a look at the following examples:

They invited Lucy and me to their anniversary.

As you can see, sometimes we have a mix of nouns and pronouns, but they are all still the object of our sentence.

I saw Jake and her sister in the supermarket.

3. Complete Objects

Complete objects consist of a direct object and all of its modifiers. They are noun phrases or noun clauses that together function as an object. Look at the examples:

The flood destroyed the beautiful giant tall statue in the middle of the garden.

I like men who are well-dressed and enjoy outdoor activities.

Objects: Types Based on Grammatical Functions

using a direct object in a sentence

There are three types of objects based on grammatical function:

1. Direct Objects

A direct object is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that directly receives the action of the verb in a sentence. The easiest way to locate a direct object is to find the verb and ask the question what? or whom?

He was eating a hamburger.

He was eating what? A hamburger. So, 'a hamburger' is the direct object.

She knows everybody!

She know whom? Everybody. So, 'everybody' is the direct object.

2. Indirect Objects

An indirect object is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that tells to or for whom or what the action of the verb is being done. It always needs a direct object and always comes before the direct object.

She cooked us dinner.

Here, 'us' is the indirect object for whom the action is done, while 'dinner' is the direct object which is the thing that receives the action of the verb (cooked).

I owe him some money.

3. Object of a Preposition

The object of a preposition is a noun or pronoun that comes after a preposition and completes the prepositional phrase. For example:

Try eating your meals without salt.

In this sentence, the noun 'salt' is the object of the preposition 'without.' Together, they form a prepositional phrase.

Lee lives in Montreal.

One way to identify the indirect object is to rephrase the sentence using a prepositional phrase with 'to' or 'for'. In these rephrased sentences, the direct object typically comes before the indirect object. Compare the examples:

indirect + direct object direct object + prepositional phrase with to/for
The postman gave me the letter. The postman gave the letter to me.
He bought me a drink. He bought a drink for me.

Do All Verbs Take Objects?

Not all verbs need an object to form a complete sentence. Here are some important rules you need to know about verbs and objects:

  • Only transitive verbs can have an object.

I ate pizza for dinner.

  • Intransitive verbs do not take an object.

Sarah laughed.

  • Some verbs need both a direct object and an indirect object.

He told his friend a secret.

He is a really nice guy.

Here, 'a really nice guy' is not a direct object. It's a subject complement following the linking verb 'is.'

Review

Objects are nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases that receive an action. They usually come after some main verbs and after prepositions (if needed).

simple objects compound objects complete objects
examples They talked to me to convince me. I asked my sister and her friend to make sure if I looked beautiful or not. I hate those who blow the horn at the traffic light.

There are three types of objects based on grammatical functions.

Transitive and Intransitive Verbs

There are two types of verbs based on whether they can get an object or not. Those verbs that need an object to have a complete meaning are called transitive verbs and those verbs that have a complete meaning without an object are called intransitive verbs.

I heard a noise from the basement. → transitive

My daughter slept well last night. → intransitive

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Subjects

In English grammar, the subject of a clause is the noun referring to the person or thing that is doing the action of the verb. We will learn all about it here.

Direct Objects

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.

Indirect Objects

As you know, there are three different groups of objects in English. This article is about indirect objects and their functions.

Objects of Prepositions

Objects of prepositions are used when we know there must be an object after the prepositions.

Adjuncts

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