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  1. #1
    diplomacy is offline Member
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    Default Verbs with 2 objects

    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.*

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: Verbs with 2 objects

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomacy View Post
    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.*
    You can say both.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
    Chicken Sandwich is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: Verbs with 2 objects

    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

    and

    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.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Verbs with 2 objects

    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).

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Verbs with 2 objects

    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>':
    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
    ...
    + another 14 with only one hit each.

    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.

    b

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