Verb + object + complement

November 18, 2011pdf

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

  • They elected him their leader. (Object – him; object complement – their leader)
  • You make me happy. (Object – me; object complement – happy)
  • I found her attitude disgusting. (Object – her attitude; object complement – disgusting)

After some verbs we use the structure ‘object + as + complement’. Verbs that are usually followed by this structure are: see, describe, regard, identify, consider etc.

  • I see him as a nice person.
  • We considered the project as wasteful.
  • She described her lover as a tall, dark and handsome guy.
  • We regard him as a genius.

Sometimes we use as being instead of as.

  • The police regard him as being dangerous.

After some verbs we use an object + infinitive. In an informal style, we can use a that-clause.

  • We considered him to be a genius. (Formal)
  • We considered that he is a genius. (Informal)
  • We believed him to be reliable. (Formal)
  • We believed that he is reliable. (Informal)

Note that the verb think cannot be followed by an object + to-infinitive. Instead, we use a that-clause.

  • I thought that she was reliable. (NOT I thought her to be reliable.)
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