Object – Definition and Examples
An Object in a sentence is a noun or pronoun on/for whom the verb/action is being performed. In any sentence the object usually answers the questions- on what? For whom? Where? When? etc, providing more details to the sentence.
‘Objects’ can be classified under three categories- Direct Objects, Indirect Objects and the Objects of Preposition.
We will individually analyze few example sentences to better understand the concept of ‘Objects’ in a sentence.
- Richa has bought a new car.
Reading the above sentence carefully we know that the subject is – Richa, and the verb is ‘bought’. But, what has she bought? A new car!!
Where ‘a’ is the article and ‘new car’ is the direct object.
Now, read the below sentence-
- Richa gave Roy her pen.
In the above sentence ‘Richa’ is the subject, the verb is ‘gave’; but there are two objects- ‘Roy’ and the ‘Pen’. Please note that the verb in a sentence, is executed on the ‘Direct Object’ or the direct object is the one directly affected by the verb; therefore in the above sentence ‘pen’ is the direct object and ‘Roy’ is an indirect object. (It’s the pen which is being given; hence pen is a ‘direct object’).
Now go through another sentence-
- Richa gave Roy her pen in the classroom.
From previous examples we know that ‘Richa’ is the subject, ‘pen’ is the direct object, ‘gave’ is the verb involved and ‘Roy’ is the indirect object. But the sentence above provides new information. That is, it gives information about where the action actually happened or happening.
Where did Richa gave Roy her pen?
In the classroom!! In this case ‘classroom’ is the object of preposition as it provides the information about the positions of the subject and the direct, indirect objects.
Further, below we will go through a descriptive discussion on the types of objects with suitable examples and also Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on the Objects.
Types of Objects
- Direct Object
A direct object in a sentence is a noun or pronoun that is at the receiving end of the verb, i.e. the object on which the verb/action is being performed.
Consider the sentences given below-
- The policeman stopped.
In the above sentence, the subject who is performing the action is ‘policeman’ and the verb is stopped. But the sentence doesn’t have a direct object as we don’t know on what person/object the action is being performed by the policeman. That is, what or whom did the policeman stop. Now consider a modified version of the same sentence-
- The policeman stopped a black car.
This sentence answers two questions- 1) Who is performing the verb and 2) On whom it is being performed. That is, the policeman (subject) is executing the action/stopping (verb) on the black car (direct object). Therefore, ‘black car’ is the direct object in the above sentence.
Below we will go through some more sentences having direct objects-
- My mother prepares the dinner.
- They left for their respective homes.
- He was writing a letter.
- She was singing a song.
- He was playing cricket.
All five of the above sentences have only single word direct objects- dinner, homes, letter, song and cricket.
However, direct objects may consist of clause or a phrase rather than a single word.
Consider the below examples-
- He purchased a black stallion.
In the above sentence the direct object is – ‘black stallion’ which is a phrase as it does not has verb or a subject. Now consider a modified form of the sentence-
- He purchased a black stallion which was standing on the podium.
The subject in the above sentence is ‘he’, and the verb is ‘purchased’. But the direct object has changed from ‘black stallion’ to ‘black stallion which was standing at the podium’; which is a clause as it has both the subject as well as a verb.
- Indirect Object
Indirect object in a sentence is a noun or a pronoun which receives the direct object or for whom the verb is being performed. Since an indirect object depends on a direct object; it must always come after the direct object in a sentence.
Go through the sentences given below-
- Roy gave Punit his watch.
‘Roy’ is the subject as he is the one who is performing the verb.
‘Gave’ is the verb/action being performed.
On what is the verb being performed? i.e. what is being given? The answer is the ‘watch’; which is therefore the direct object.
- My brother cooked the dinner for the party.
Subject- my brother; Verb- cooked; Direct Object- dinner; Indirect Object- party.
- She bought a car for her sister.
Subject- she; Verb- bought; Direct Object- car; Indirect Object- sister.
- They prepared a shelter home for the poor.
Subject – they; Verb- prepared; Direct Object- shelter home; Indirect Object- poor.
- The man purchased chocolates for his kids.
Subject- The man; Verb- purchased; Direct Objects- chocolates; Indirect Objects- kids.
In any sentence the indirect object is usually the noun or pronoun for which the verb is being performed, like- watch, party, sister, poor and kids in the above examples.
- Object of Preposition
An object of preposition in a sentence provides information about when and where is the action taking place. An object of preposition is always paired with a preposition (on, at, till, beneath, behind, above etc) in the sentence. Below we will do a careful analysis of few more sentences, determining the subject, direct-indirect objects, verb and finally the ‘Object of Preposition’-
- They gave the soldiers a grand reception at the airport.
Subject- They; Verb- gave; Direct Object- grand reception; Indirect Object – soldiers; Now comes the next question- where is this all taking place?, where were the soldiers given the grand reception? The answer to these questions is the object of preposition and that is – ‘Airport’, which follows the preposition ‘at’.
We will further go through few more examples determining their ‘Objects of Preposition’.
- He bought his fiancee a diamond ring on Christmas.
Subject-‘He’, Verb- ‘bought’, Direct Object- ‘diamond ring’, Indirect Object- ‘fiancée, Object of Preposition- Christmas (time).
- The team gave its opponents a tough time in finals.
Subject- ‘team’, Verb- gave, Direct Object- tough time, Indirect Object- opponents, Object of Preposition- finals( occasion, symbolic of time)
- The government waived off the loan of farmers on Republic Day.
Subject-‘the government’; Verb-waived off; Direct Object- loan; Indirect Object- farmers; Object of Preposition- Republic Day.
- His parents gifted him a new bike on this Diwali.
Subject- His parents; Verb- gifted; Direct Object- new bike; Indirect Object- him; Object of Preposition- Diwali.
A sentence may also have more than one objects of preposition, as in the sentence given below-
- My mother makes delicacies for the family in the kitchen on festivals.
In the above sentence, subject is – ‘My mother’, the verb is -‘makes’, direct object- delicacies, indirect object- family. Carefully examining the sentence we see that there are two objects of prepositions- ‘kitchen’ and ‘festivals’ following the prepositions ‘in’ and ‘on’ respectively.
How to Identify Different Types of Objects
The various parts of a sentence like- subject, verb, direct object, indirect object and object of preposition can be determined if a step by step procedure is followed. We will take up a complete sentence and do a step by step analysis to identify its different parts (subject, verb, direct object, indirect object and object of preposition); which will help you in solving the exercises below. Let us consider the sentence-
- My brother was given a memento by his colleagues in the office on his last day.
Step 1) Identify the Subject
The subject in the above sentence is- ‘colleagues’as they are the ones performing the task or executing the verb i.e. giving the memento.
Step 2) Identify the Verb
The verb is –‘given’.
Step 3) Identify the Direct Object
What is being given? A memento! Therefore, the direct object is – memento.
Step 4) Identify the Indirect Object
To whom the memento was given? For whom was it meant? ‘My brother’!! which is the indirect object.
Step 5) Identify the Object of Preposition
Where did this all take place? We have two answers- ‘in the office’ (defines place) and ‘on his last day’ (defines time); therefore the Objects of Preposition are ‘office’ and ‘last day’.
Exercises/Worksheets/Activities on ‘Direct and Indirect Objects with Answers
Identify the direct and indirect objects in the sentences given below. Refer to the answers provided at the end of the exercise.
1) Roy gave his sister a pen on her birthday.
2) My boss sent me an e-mail yesterday.
3) The cook will help my mother in kitchen.
4) When did you gave Roy the book?
5) They are going to a party.
6) She was given a box of chocolates by his friends on her birthday.
7) He was performing for the college in the annual meet.
8) They are studying for the exams at her house.
9) His parents bought him a new car.
10) His teacher gave him a box full of geometry instruments.
11) Jawaharlal Nehru wrote a book on India’s independence.
12) I need a box of chocolates.
13) I need a box of chocolates for my son.
14) He gave food to the beggars.
15) His daughter bought him a new house.
16) My friend gave me his book.
17) They wished him good luck.
18) The teacher called his parents for meeting.
19) He bought a new dress for his father.
20) She gave her brother a new bike on Raksha bandhan.
1) Direct Object- pen
Indirect Object- sister
2) Direct Object- e mail
Indirect Object- me
3) Direct Object- my mother
Indirect Object- NIL (Kitchen is the object of preposition)
4) Direct Object- book
Indirect Object- Roy
5) Direct Object- party
Indirect Object- NIL
6) Direct Object- box of chocolates
Indirect Object- she
7) Direct Object- NIL (We do not know what is being performed)
Indirect Object- college
8) Direct Object- NIL
Indirect Object- Exams
9) Direct Object- new car
Indirect Object- his
10) Direct Object- box full of geometry instruments
Indirect Object- him
11) Direct Object- book
12) Direct Object-box of chocolates
Indirect Object- NIL
13) Direct Object- box of chocolates
Indirect Object- my son
14) Direct Object- food
Indirect Object- beggars
15) Direct Object- new house
Indirect Object- him
16) Direct Object- book
Indirect Object- me
17) Direct Object- good luck
Indirect Object- him
18) Direct Object- parents
Indirect Object- meeting
19) Direct Object- new dress
Indirect Object- father
20) Direct Object- new bike
Indirect Object- brother
Exercises/Worksheet/Activities on Objects of Preposition with Answers
Identify the Object/s of Preposition in the following sentences; also verify your answer with those provided at the end of the exercise.
1) Roy was given a grand reception in a hotel by friends.
2) He gave a pen to his friend in the class.
3) She wrote a letter to the warden in her hostel.
4) In the middle of night, a man was standing on the road below the street light.
5) They paid the labor who was admitted in the hospital.
6) My mother cooked the food in the kitchen for the family.
7) He was waiting for the bus under the shed.
8) He gave his sister a ring on Rakshabandhan.
9) Their parents bought new toys for them on festival.
10) She gave her approval for the function, to the class on Christmas Eve.
11) I drove my bike to the service centre.
12) The man was standing across the street.
13) They were sitting below a tree.
14) The man distributed sweets to the children on Children’s Day.
15) He was studying for the exams at home.
16) She was given full marks by her teacher in the viva.
17) They submitted the assignments for the academic year on Tuesday.
18) She will be at home studying for the exam on the terrace.
19) He will get a surprise on Christmas Eve.
20) He was sitting on a bench and reading a book in his classroom.
Answers- 1)hotel (place), 2)class (place), 3)hostel (place), 4)road (place), street light (place), 5)hospital (place), 6)kitchen (place), 7)shed (place), 8)Rakshabandhan (occasion/time), 9)festival (occasion/time), 10)Christmas Eve (occasion/time), 11)service centre (place), 12)street (place), 13)tree (place), 14)Children’s Day (occasion/time), 15)home (place), 16)the viva (place of event), 17)Tuesday (time/day), 18)home (place), terrace (place), 19)Christmas Eve (occasion/time), 20)bench (place), classroom (place)