Elizabeth O'Brien

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

Chapter 6: Diagramming
Two of the Four
Types of Verbs - Part 1

You'll learn about two of the four types of verbs with these sentence diagramming exercises.

* Get your hands on the 120-page Sentence Diagramming Exercises book that contains these exercises and more! *

In the previous five chapters, you have been diagramming the same type of verb (intransitive complete). There are four types of verbs, and now it's time for you to learn about the others! In this chapter, you'll learn about another type of action verb, the transitive active verb.

Your Mini Lesson on Transitive Active Verbs

These types of verbs are action verbs that transfer their action to someone or something called a direct object. They may also contain words called indirect objects. Let's explore those two concepts!

  • Direct objects are nouns or pronouns that receive the action of the verb.

    The baby kicked the ball.

    The direct object in that sentence is ball. The ball is receiving the action of kicked. It is what is being kicked.

    Find the direct object in the following sentence.

    I chopped the wood.

    Since wood is receiving the action of chopped, it is the direct object. It is being chopped.

  • Indirect objects are nouns or pronouns that receive the direct object. That means that you can only have an indirect object in a sentence that already has a direct object.

    The baby kicked me the ball.

    The indirect object in that sentence is me. The word me is receiving the direct object ball. Who is getting the ball? Me!

    Find the direct object and the indirect object in the following sentence.

    I gave you the book.

    Book is receiving the action of the verb gave, so it is the direct object. The word you is receiving the direct object, so it is the indirect object.

    Direct objects and indirect objects only occur with transitive active verbs. TRANSitive active verbs are verbs that TRANSfer their action to direct objects.

    If a sentence has a direct object, it also has a transitive active verb. If a sentence has an indirect object, it also has a direct object.

    For more information on these types of verbs, see this page.

    Are you ready to diagram? You can do this! The answers are at the bottom of the page. When you finish, you'll be ready to learn about the other two types of verbs!

    6.0 Diagramming Direct Objects

    Diagram direct objects on the same horizontal line as the subject and the verb.

    Separate the verb and the direct object with a vertical line that doesn't go below the horizontal line.

    The baby kicked the ball.

    Directions: Diagram the following sentences. Use the example diagram above for help.

    1. Does your sister like black cats?

    2. A boy on your basketball team just dunked the ball.

    3. Wow! You will run a marathon on Sunday?

    4. My dad videotaped me during the play.

    5. The sick English teacher blew her nose.

    6.1 Diagramming Indirect Objects

    Indirect objects are diagrammed in kind of a funny way. Before I show you how they are diagrammed, look at this sentence:

    The baby kicked the ball to me.

    This sentence has transitive active verb (kicked), a direct object (ball), and a prepositional phrase (to me).

    The word me is the object of the preposition to.

    There is another way we can say that sentence without the word to.

    The baby kicked me the ball.

    This sentence still has a transitive active verb (kicked) and a direct object (ball), but there is no prepositional phrase.

    Now, the word me is an indirect object instead of an object of the preposition!

    When you diagram indirect objects, diagram them underneath the verb as if they were objects of the preposition. Put an (x) where the preposition would go.

    The baby kicked me the ball.

    Directions: Diagram the following sentences. Use the example diagram above for help.

    1. Could you bake me a cake?

    2. Nate bought his mother flowers.

    3. Arrg, the bookstore sent me the wrong book!

    4. Caroline and Mike gave Emilie a birthday card.

    5. The woman handed Alex a new passport.

    6.2 Diagramming Compound Direct & Indirect Objects

    Coordinating conjunctions can make direct and indirect objects compound.

    Diagramming Compound Direct Objects

    The baby kicked the ball and the toy.

    Diagramming Compound Indirect Objects

    The baby kicked Elmo and me the ball.

    Directions: Diagram the following sentences. Use the example diagrams above for help.

    1. I smelled the delicious homemade pie and cookies.

    2. Yikes! The tornado violently hit the house and threw the trees across the field.

    3. The guests gave Mary a book about Germany, and she gave them a photo of her town.

    4. I reluctantly gave Edward and Bella the keys to my car.

    5. My friend and I walked into the woods and picked Sara flowers.

    6.0 Diagramming Direct Objects - Answers

    Get these answers in the ebook!

    6.1 Diagramming Indirect Objects

    6.2 Diagramming Compound Direct & Indirect Objects

    Get these answers in the ebook!

    You'll learn grammar and diagramming with these short, simple lessons and exercises, and you'll find all of the answers in the back so that you can easily check your work.

    When you're done with this book, you'll possess a powerful tool for using and understanding language.

    You'll be able to write with clarity, and you'll actually enjoy grammar.

    I told my students that diagramming would help them see how words fit together and would help them to become better writers. After a few weeks, they agreed.

    - Liz, 6th Grade Teacher

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