Are you ready to learn about indirect objects (IOs)? Great! If you haven't read the lesson on
direct objects (DOs) yet, you'll probably want to do that before reading on.
Direct objects complete the meaning of certain action verbs. Direct objects are directly affected by the action of the verb. The boy kicked the ball . Alice poured me lemonade. To find the direct object, ask the following question. What/Whom did the ( subject) ( verb)?
Indirect objects are nouns (or pronouns) that tell us for whom/what or to whom/what the action of the verb is done.
indirectly affected by the action of the verb. The boy kicked Lori the ball. Alice poured me lemonade. Lori is an IO. It is receiving the direct object ( ball). Me is an IO. It is receiving the direct object ( lemonade).
In order for a sentence to have an IO, it MUST have a DO (direct object).
To find the indirect object, ask the following question.
( Subject) ( verb) the ( direct object) to whom/for whom?
When we fill in the blanks for our example sentences above, our question becomes...
The boy kicked the ball to whom? Alice poured the lemonade for whom?
The answers are
Lori and me. Lori and me are IOs.
Look at these two sentences.
1. Alice gave me a flower. 2. Alice gave a flower to me.
Those sentences give us the same information, but the second one uses a
preposition ( to) and the first one does not.
Sentences with IOs tell us TO whom/what or FOR whom/what something is done, but they don't contain the words
to or for. It's as though these sentences contain "missing" prepositions.
Prepositional Phrases The boy kicked the ball to Lori. Alice poured lemonade for me.
I sang a song for my grandma. To Lori, for me and for my grandma are prepositional phrases.
Lori, me, and grandma are objects of the prepositions.
Indirect Objects The boy kicked Lori the ball. Alice poured me lemonade.
I sang my grandma a song.
Lori, me, and grandma are IOs.
Sentence Diagramming & Indirect Objects
IOs are diagrammed underneath the verb just like a prepositional phrase without the preposition.
(x) in the place where the preposition would normally go.
Elizabeth read Lori the newspaper.
It's your turn! (Subject) (verb) the (direct object) for whom/to whom? Directions: Find the verbs, the DOs, and the IOs in the following sentences.
1. I gave my friend a bouquet of flowers.
2. Jeremy and Sara brought the hostess delicious chocolates.
3. Olivia's music teacher lent her a recording of Tchaikovsky's
The Nutcracker Suite.
4. My sister-in-law sent us photos of the wedding.
5. The teacher handed her student the assignment.
6. We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
transitive active verbs are in bold, the direct objects are underlined, and the are in red. IOs
gave my a friend bouquet of flowers.
2. Jeremy and Sara
brought the delicious hostess chocolates.
3. Olivia's music teacher
lent a her recording of Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker Suite.
4. My sister-in-law
sent us photos of the wedding.
5. The teacher
handed her the student assignment.
wish a you merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
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