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    #1

    Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    I am not a professional teacher. This is my question: Is there a direct object, indirect object, or prepositional phrase in the following sentence?

    Whom did the settlers call for protection from outlaws?


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    #2

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by gjo123 View Post
    I am not a professional teacher. This is my question: Is there a direct object, indirect object, or prepositional phrase in the following sentence?

    Whom did the settlers call for protection from outlaws?

    The settlers called whom for protection from outlaws.

    whom is the direct object of the verb "called".
    for protection is the prepositional object
    "from outlaws" is a prepositional phrase that modifies "protection," thus being adjectival regarding its function.

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    #3

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Thanks,Svartnic, for your rapid reply to my question. I had asked how the word "whom" was functioning in this sentence: Whom did the settlers call for protection from the outlaws.

    My follow up question:

    Can the noun or pronoun functioning as the object of a preposition ever function as a direct object?

    Can the noun or pronoun functioning as an object of a preposition ever function as an indirect object?

    I had reasoned that whom in my sentence (given above) must be the direct object by elimination. It was in the objective case and it could not have been an indirect object since a direct object is required first, before an indirect object can be present. [SIZE="4"]Is that correct reasoning?[/SIZE]

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Wow. Those are some BIG letters!

    No, you can say "I wrote a letter to my sister," which has a direct object as well as an indirect object, but you can also say "I wrote to my sister" and skip the direct object.


    Some people find it hard to say whether sister in "to my sister" is an indirect object or the object of a preposition. If you take "I put the collar on the dog" I would call the dog the indirect object, but others may call it the object of a preposition. (I'd say if you just laid the collar on top of the dog it could be the object of the preposition, but the dog is "receiving" the collar, so it's an indirect object.) I say this just to show that there is room for lively disagreement.

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    #5

    Red face Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Thanks, Barb. If you were going to give a definitive response, say for an exam in high school, how would you respond to this question:

    Is it possible to have an indirect object when there is no direct object present?


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    #6

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Can the noun or pronoun functioning as the object of a preposition ever function as a direct object?

    I would be utterly surprised if someone came up with an example.


    Can the noun or pronoun functioning as an object of a preposition ever function as an indirect object?

    I give an example to you.
    I give you an example.


    Is it possible to have an indirect object when there is no direct object present?

    Yes, provided the omitted direct object is easily recoverable.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by gjo123 View Post

    Is it possible to have an indirect object when there is no direct object present?
    Yes. The sentence "I wrote to my sister" is an example of this.

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    #8

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Yes. The sentence "I wrote to my sister" is an example of this.
    In my mind, just like when you open the dictionary, there you can find that sometimes the verb (in this example) wrote is transitive its means that the verb must be followed by the direct object, but you can omit it when the sentence is clear enough for the reader to know who or what is the object. In this example it is clear that wrote something (letter) but the speaker omit it.
    It is impossible to write. I wrote. (without any object).

  3. Soup's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Hi gjo123

    In answer to your follow-up questions:

    1. The term "direct object" refers to the object of a verb; a preposition takes an object, also called the object of a preposition.

    2. The term "indirect object" refers to the object of a verb.

    3. Whom functions as the direct object of the verb "call":
    Ex: Whom did the settlers call for protection from the outlaws?
    Test it: The settlers called whom for protection from the outlaws?

    Transformation
    Underlying structure: The settlers called WHOM
    WH-Movement: WHOM the settlers called
    DO-Insertion: Whom DID the settlers CALL
    Output: Whom did the settlers call

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    #10

    Wink Re: Indirect Object or Prepositioal Phrase?

    Many thanks to Soup, Nuharani, Barb_D, and Svartnik for your rapid responses to my questions regarding the following sentence:

    Whom did the settlers call for protection from outlaws?

    I have deducted from your comments that an indirect object can, indeed, appear without a stated direct object. However, the direct object must be implied. This goes contrary to the numerous books have consulted, but it does make sense.

    For an exam, I think the student should produce an answer which has been given in their text---but continue to be mindful that the above deduction might come into play.

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