I have read that some verbs have two objects such as give,make,and build.It confused me how come?
Do they come with a subject or not?
Can any one explain for me?
By the way, if I say:
Give the key to John.
Is it correct or I should say:
Give John the key.*
Whenever I'm not sure about the usage of a verb, I always find it useful to it up in Longman and see how it is used.
In the case of "give" ( give - Definition from Longman English Dictionary Online ), you'll see that it can be used two ways (definition #2):
give somebody something
give something to somebody
You therefore conclude that both of your sentences are possible.
Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 25-Aug-2012 at 14:25.
With verbs with two objects, you have a direct object (the thing or person affected) and an indirect object (often the recipient); if you give someone something, something is the direct object (the thing given) and someone is the indirect object (the recipient).
Words that use this syntax a lot are, as diplomacy said make and give (I had to stop and think about build - but it can be used like this: 'Build me a house...'. A more common verb of this sort is tell - though unlike make and give it has a strong preference for only a small range of direct objects. BNC shows these hits for 'tell me a <noun>':
+ another 14 with only one hit each.1 TELL ME A STORY 9
2 TELL ME A JOKE 3
3 TELL ME A PROPERTY 2
4 TELL ME A SECRET 2
5 TELL ME A THING 2
Apart from verbs that regularly take an indirect and a direct object, this is an area where poetic license is sometimes used: 'cry' is usually either intransitive ('They cried') or transitive ('They cried tears of joy'). But the song 'Cry me a river' introduces the possibility of an indirect object.