Direct Object And Indirect Object

Direct and Indirect Objects

Direct and indirect objects are key parts of building sentences that you should understand. Here we will look at the key difference between them.


Objects in sentences refer to someone or something in relation to the subject’s action of the verb. They come after the verb (and any words or phrases that modify the verb). So the pattern isSubject + Verb + Object.

Parts of a Sentence: Objects

There are two types of objects in English grammar, direct and indirect objects.

Direct Objects

The example above is an example of a direct object. A direct object is the receiver of the action within a sentence and it answers the question “who?” or “what?”.

John marked
the homework

(What did John mark?  = the homework)

Alice hitSusan

(Who did Alice hit? = Susan)

So in the first case, the action (the verb) is the
and it is the
that is receiving this action
i.e. it is being marked. In the second case, the receiver of the action –the hitting
(verb) – is
Susan, so
is the direct object.

Indirect Objects

In proyek to have an indirect object in a sentence, theremust be a direct object.

The indirect object is the recipient of the direct object. Or in other words, it identifies to or for whom or what the action of the verb is performed.

The direct object and indirect object will be different people, places or things.

Parts of a Sentence: Direct and Indirect Objects

Subject + Verb +

indirect Object


direct object

John boughthis son
a present

(For whom did John buy a present?  = his son)

The office staff gave
a card

(To whom did the staff give a card? = Philliip)

So in the first case,
the son
is the recipient of the
direct object (the present). So the action –
the present – is being performed for him. In the second case the recipient is
Phillip, who is the recipient of
the card (direct object).

Examples of Direct and Indirect Objects

Here are some example sentences. All the direct objects are in
bold. Where an indirect object is included in the second set of examples, the indirect object is in

Sentences with Direct Objects

  • Steve turned on
    the TV
  • The car hit
    the pedestrian
  • Billy strokedthe hamster
  • Sheila spoke to
    her neighbour
  • Mike started
    the argument

Sentences with Indirect and Indirect Objects

  • John passed
    the book
  • Let
  • Anne gave
    a strange look
  • My brother bought
    a bike
  • The mother read
    her childa story

Now try this direct and indirect objects quiz >>>


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