Ditransitive Verbs for intermediate learners

Ditransitive verbs are transitive verbs that take two objects. A direct object and an indirect object. Follow the article to read more about them.

What Are Ditransitive Verbs in English Grammar?

What Are Ditransitive Verbs?

The verbs that take only a direct object are called monotransitive (or simply transitive) verbs. The verbs that take an indirect object and a direct object are called ditransitive verbs.

Direct and Indirect Objects

A transitive verb takes a direct object; that is, the noun that receives the action. It can also have an indirect object that comes before the direct object. The indirect object tells 'to' or 'for' whom the action is done.

She gave me (indirect object) a watch (direct object) for my birthday. = She gave a watch to me.

Can I buy you (indirect object) a drink (direct object)? = Can I buy a drink for you?

Examples of Common Ditransitive Verbs

Here is the list of common transitive verbs in English:

  • Give
  • Send
  • Bake
  • Read
  • Pass
  • Tell
  • Show
  • Buy
  • Lend
  • Make

While some of these verbs only make sense with two objects, certain ditransitive verbs can also act as monotransitive verbs.

I baked a cake.

I baked him a cake.

Passive Voice

We can use ditransitive verbs in the passive voice. They are the only type of verbs that can have an object in passive voice.

A cake was baked for him.

A letter was mailed to him.


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