Objects for intermediate learners

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.

"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

In English, there are three main kinds of objects as listed below:

  • Simple Objects
  • Compound Objects
  • Complete Objects

Simple Objects

A simple object is a single word that is sometimes used with a definite or an indefinite article. It can be:

She talked to me yesterday.

I linked it to my website.

I don't care about Greg.

We met Dr. Hopkins the other day.

Object Personal Pronouns

As mentioned before, personal pronouns can be used as both subjects and objects in sentences. Below is a table of object personal pronouns:

Singular Object Pronouns Plural Object Pronouns
First Person Me Us
Second Person You You
Third Person (Male) Him Them
Third Person (Female) Her Them
Third Person (Non-human) It Them

Compound Objects

'Compound objects' consist of two or more objects and can be a mixture of nouns or pronouns. Below are some examples:

They told my friend and me about the upcoming event.

She wrote to Lucille and her sister every week.

Objects: Function

There are three major kinds of objects in English sentences which are:

Direct Objects

A direct object is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that directly receives the action of the verb . Let us take a look at the examples below:

She had a ballet class this afternoon.

David and Jenny are writing a letter in the library.

Tip!

You can find the object by asking questions that start with words like 'what' or 'whom'.

"She had what?" a ballet class.

Indirect Objects

An indirect object is one that is affected by the direct object in the sentence. It usually comes before the direct object and tells to or for whom or what the action is being done. Look at the examples below:

I told her the good news.

She gave them food.

Warning!

An indirect object must always come with a direct object. The underlined words in the above sentences are the direct objects.

Object of a Preposition

An object of a preposition is a noun, pronoun, or noun phrase that comes after a preposition and completes the prepositional phrase. The object of the preposition is the noun or pronoun that is affected by the preposition.
Let us look at the examples below:

She lives in Canada.

They wrote a letter to me.

Do All Sentences Have Objects?

In English, not all verbs take objects. There are two types of verbs when it comes to using objects:

Transitive Verbs

Transitive verbs are action verbs that always come with an object. Pay attention to the examples below:

She talked to Sarah last night.

As you can see, if you remove the highlighted part, the sentence will be incomplete.

We discussed the history of nursery rhymes in today's class.

Intransitive Verbs

An intransitive verb does not require an object to complete its meaning. It expresses a complete thought without needing an object to receive the action of the verb. For example:

She failed.

Here in this example, the sentence is complete and there is no need for an object.

They danced.

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