The Direct Object

Are you familiar with direct objects (DOs)? You will be by the end of this lesson! 

But before we dive into the wonderful world of DOs, you need to have a little lesson on action verbs. Are you wondering why? Just trust me on this one.

Some action verbs don't use any other words to complete their meaning. 

The book fell

The flower bloomed.

Some action verbs do use other words to complete their meaning. 

The boy kicked the ball

Elizabeth read the newspaper.

Do you see how ball and newspaper complete the meaning of the verbs kicked and read?

Words that complete the meaning of action verbs like this are called direct objects

The type of verbs that need DOs to complete their meaning are called transitive active verbs.

They transfer their action to the DO. (Check out the page on action verbs if you'd like more information.)

To find the DO, ask this question.

What/Whom did the (subject) (verb)?


When we fill in the blanks for those example sentences above, our question becomes...

What did the boy kick?

What did Elizabeth read?

The answers are ball and newspaper, and those words are also the DOs! Wasn't that easy?

Sentence Diagramming & Direct Objects

Have you diagrammed sentences before? It's really fun, and it's a great way to make grammar visual. DOs are diagrammed on the same horizontal line as the subject and the verb. 

Put a vertical line between the verb and the DO, but be sure that the line doesn't go below the horizontal line.

Elizabeth read the newspaper.

It's your turn!

Directions: Find the verbs and DOs in the following sentences. Do you think you can do it? Of course you can! You'll find the answers right below these five questions.

1. The dog ate my homework. 

2. Our amazing soccer team won the trophy!

3. I love my friendly neighborhood.

4. Sam and Ava raked leaves yesterday.

5. My dad built a loft for my bed.


Answers

The transitive active verbs are in bold and the DOs are underlined.

1. The dog ate my homework

2. Our amazing soccer team won the trophy!

3. I love my friendly neighborhood.

4. Sam and Ava raked leaves yesterday.

5. My dad built a loft for my bed.

Hello! I'm Elizabeth O'Brien, and my goal is to get you jazzed about grammar.

Where have you been all our homeschooling life? You are talented at explaining grammar in a way that my youngest (of 8) really gets! Thank you!

- Susan, Homeschooler

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If you want to teach or learn grammar the easy way, then follow a step-by-step program that clearly lays everything out for you and allows you to move at your own pace. The Get Smart program is presented in a logical sequence, so it's not an overwhelming mishmash of information. Before you know it, you'll be a grammar and sentence diagramming pro. The whole program is online, so you have instant access to these lessons and videos. It's easy and fun. You can get it at www.GrammarRevolution.com/daily-diagrams.html

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Other Helpful Resources

  • This PDF gives you 20 sentences to test your skills! The answers are also included.

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