More about object complements

August 7, 2011pdf

Some transitive verbs can be followed by an object together with an object complement (an expression that gives more information about the object).

The object complement is usually an adjective or a noun phrase.

Study the following sentences.

Subject Verb Object Object complement
You make me nervous.
She makes me happy.
You are driving me crazy.
She called me a liar.
I find her attitude strange.

 

After some verbs, an object complement is introduced by as. This is common when we say how we see or describe somebody or something.

  • We regard him as a genius.
  • The metal was identified as mercury.
  • I see you as a basically nice person.

Some verbs that refer to thoughts, feelings and opinions can be followed by object + infinitive. Examples are: believe, consider, feel, know, find, think and understand.

  • I believed him to be conscientious.
  • We considered her to be an excellent choice.
  • They believed him to be a German spy.

In a less formal style, these verbs are followed by that-clauses.

  • I believed that he was conscientious.
  • We considered that she was an excellent choice.

Passive structures

Passive versions of these structures are possible.

  • He was elected President.
  • He is regarded as a genius.
  • He was thought to be unreliable.
Free Grammar Guide: "120 Deadly Grammar and Vocabulary Mistakes."