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  1. #1
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    direct x indirect object (simple)

    1) In the patterns:
    a) Subject + verb + someone + something
    b) Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    is something always the direct object and someone always the indirect object?

    For example:
    c) Carol wrote her boyfriend a letter.
    her boyfriend -> indirect object
    a letter -> direct object
    Is this correct ?

    2) Are there other names used in English grammar for
    direct object and indirect object?

    3) Only the prepositions to and for appear in constructions as the pattern above or are there other ones?


    Thanks in advance

    P.S.: Feel free to point our any possible mistakes on this post.

  2. #2
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    1) In the patterns:
    a) Subject + verb + someone + something
    b) Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    is something always the direct object and someone always the indirect object?

    For example:
    c) Carol wrote her boyfriend a letter.
    her boyfriend -> indirect object
    a letter -> direct object
    Is this correct ?
    Yes, it is correct. With verbs that can be followed by two objects, the indirect object typically comes immediately after the verb, a similar example:
    The doctor sent me a bill for his services.
    Here bill = direct object; me = indirect object

    2) Are there other names used in English grammar for
    direct object and indirect object?
    These are the usual names but some say 1st object and 2nd object

    3) Only the prepositions to and for appear in constructions as the pattern above or are there other ones?

    A prepositional object usually replaces an indirect object as:
    Serve the old lady dinner.
    "Serve dinner to the old lady."
    Actually, it can be discovered by asking TO WHOM or FOR WHOM after the verb: So "to' and 'for are the two prepositions used.


    Thanks in advance

    P.S.: Feel free to point our any possible mistakes on this post.
    SKP

  3. #3
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by sarat_106 View Post
    A prepositional object usually replaces an indirect object as:
    Serve the old lady dinner.
    "Serve dinner to the old lady."
    Actually, it can be discovered by asking TO WHOM or FOR WHOM after the verb: So "to' and 'for are the two prepositions used.
    So we should say that in sentences like
    Serve dinner to the old lady
    Mr. A wrote a letter to Mrs. B
    Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    'old lady', 'Mrs. B',
    and 'someone' are prepositional objects rather than indirect objects? Would it be a mistake to call them simply indirect objects?

    Regarding the classification of "objects" in the sense above, are other "types" of objects besides direct ones, indirect ones and prepositional ones?

  4. #4
    sarat_106 is offline Key Member
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    Exclamation Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    So we should say that in sentences like
    Serve dinner to the old lady
    Mr. A wrote a letter to Mrs. B
    Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    'old lady', 'Mrs. B', and 'someone' are prepositional objects rather than indirect objects? Would it be a mistake to call them simply indirect objects?

    Regarding the classification of "objects" in the sense above, are other "types" of objects besides direct ones, indirect ones and prepositional ones?
    Yes, you are absolutely correct. Objects fall into three classes: direct objects, prepositional objects, and non-prepositional indirect objects. A direct object answers the question "What?", while an indirect object answers the question "To whom?" or "For whom?".

  5. #5
    philo2009 is offline Key Member
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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    So we should say that in sentences like
    Serve dinner to the old lady
    Mr. A wrote a letter to Mrs. B
    Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    'old lady', 'Mrs. B', and 'someone' are prepositional objects rather than indirect objects? Would it be a mistake to call them simply indirect objects?
    Terminology varies.  Traditionally the term 'indirect object' was restricted to simple nouns/pronouns that in inflecting languages such as Latin or German would have governed the dative case, as 'him' in

    I gave him a sandwich.

    (Cf. Lat. ei...dedi, Ger. ich gab ihm...)

    Since, however, English long ago largely ceased to be an inflecting language, the need for prepositions to indicate grammatical relations other than simple direct object naturally became greater, and a number of alternative prepositional constructions grew up alongside the simpler older forms, yielding e.g. somewhat more emphatic

    I gave a sandwich to him.

    On account of the functional parity between the one-word form and the prepositional phrase (the latter being, technically, a kind of adverbial), the same term 'indirect object' is often applied to the prepositional construction, although many grammarians have preferred to maintain a distinction by labelling it a 'prepositional indirect object'.

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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    1) In the patterns:
    a) Subject + verb + someone + something
    b) Subject + verb + something + to/for + somenone
    is something always the direct object and someone always the indirect object?

    For example:
    c) Carol wrote her boyfriend a letter.
    her boyfriend -> indirect object
    a letter -> direct object
    Is this correct ?

    2) Are there other names used in English grammar for
    direct object and indirect object?

    3) Only the prepositions to and for appear in constructions as the pattern above or are there other ones?


    Thanks in advance

    P.S.: Feel free to point our any possible mistakes on this post.
    Hi,

    You're thinking about some interesting things here. Therefore, I think you will find this video of interest. If you want to get right to the part where he starts talking about direct objects and indirect objects, start at about three minutes and ten seconds. Anyway, the whole video is good, and here it is: Steven Pinker on language and thought | Video on TED.com.

    I've watched it a few times, and each time I've thought it very interesting and entertaining to listen to the ideas he expresses here.


  7. #7
    Abstract Idea is offline Key Member
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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Hi,

    You're thinking about some interesting things here. Therefore, I think you will find this video of interest. If you want to get right to the part where he starts talking about direct objects and indirect objects, start at about three minutes and ten seconds. Anyway, the whole video is good, and here it is: Steven Pinker on language and thought | Video on TED.com.

    I've watched it a few times, and each time I've thought it very interesting and entertaining to listen to the ideas he expresses here.

    Thanks PROESL, I have just heard the audio, this lecture is really awesome. I recommend it to all readers of this thread. Have you read any of Steven Pinker's books? I think they might be interesting.

    Well, after hearing the lecture, I realized that the pattern in the first post here is not complete. What about the sentence the speaker uses:
    John drove the car to Chicago.
    I think here 'the car' is the direct object and 'Chicago' is the prepositional object, right?

    But here the pattern is not (subject)+(something)+to/for+(someone),
    but (subject)+(somenthing)+to/for+(somewhere)

    Should we add this pattern to our set in the first post?
    And so the construction (subject)+(somewhere)+(something) does not work here (John drove Chigago the car ?????).

  8. #8
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    As Philo and others have pointed out, terminology here varies a lot. But "Indirect Object" is often restricted to nominals (whether flagged by a preposition or not) whose semantic role is something like Recipient or Beneficiary (the classic uses of the Dative in languages like Latin). For other prepositional complements (associated with roles like agent, instrument or location) the term I am most familiar with is "Oblique".

  9. #9
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    Smile Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Quote Originally Posted by ymnisky View Post
    Thanks PROESL, I have just heard the audio, this lecture is really awesome. I recommend it to all readers of this thread. Have you read any of Steven Pinker's books? I think they might be interesting.

    Well, after hearing the lecture, I realized that the pattern in the first post here is not complete. What about the sentence the speaker uses:
    John drove the car to Chicago.
    I think here 'the car' is the direct object and 'Chicago' is the prepositional object, right?

    But here the pattern is not (subject)+(something)+to/for+(someone),
    but (subject)+(somenthing)+to/for+(somewhere)

    Should we add this pattern to our set in the first post?
    And so the construction (subject)+(somewhere)+(something) does not work here (John drove Chigago the car ?????).

    I've read The Stuff of Thought, and I'm now reading The Blank Slate. It's heavy reading for me, so I take my time with such books. I might read The Language Instinct, eventually.
    _______________________________________________

    What about the sentence the speaker uses: John drove the car to Chicago. I think here 'the car' is the direct object and 'Chicago' is the prepositional object, right? < Yes, "the car" is the direct object, and "Chicago" is the prepositional object.

    But here the pattern is not (subject)+(something)+to/for+(someone),
    but (subject)+(something)+to/for+(somewhere) < Yes, I would say it's "somewhere" or "to a place".

    Should we add this pattern to our set in the first post?
    And so the construction (subject)+(somewhere)+(something) does not work here (John drove Chicago the car ?????) < Right, that sentence doesn't work. At least in English that pattern does not work. Yes, I think it makes sense to add this.

  10. #10
    orangutan is offline Member
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    Re: direct x indirect object (simple)

    Incidentally this recent thread is also relevant to the discussion.
    Last edited by orangutan; 18-Aug-2009 at 17:05.

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