Chapter 2-2: Objects and Complements

Grammar > Parts of the Sentence > Objects and Complements

① How to Tell the Difference Between Direct Objects and Subject Complements?

Determine whether the verb is acting on the object or if the complement is renaming or describing the subject.

Direct Object Example:

John drove his Audi on the street.

(John took the Audi and drove it on the street.)

Subject Complement Example:

His driving skills were horrible.

(The word "horrible" describes "skills").

② How to Tell the Difference Between Direct Objects and Indirect Objects?

Determine if the indirect object can be changed into a prepositional phrase.

Reminder: indirect objects cannot exist without direct objects.

Direct Object Example:

Jane made the cake.

(There is only one object in this sentence, so it has to be a direct object.)

Indirect Object Example:

Jane made me the cake. Jane made the cake for me!

(Observe that the first sentence can be turned into a prepositional phrase: "for" is the preposition + "me" as the pronoun).

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