Verb patterns: subject + verb + object + object complement

January 27, 2012pdf

Every sentence in English follows a certain pattern. There are several sentence patterns in English. A decent understanding of these structures will help you to express your ideas in several different ways.

Subject + verb + object + complement

After some verbs an object alone does not make complete sense. In addition to the object, we need another word to complete the meaning. The word thus used to complete the meaning of the object is called its complement.

Subject Transitive verb Object Object complement
The noise drove him mad.
That case made the lawyer famous.
He painted the wall green.
We found the house empty.
I thought the plan unwise.
We consider the matter very important

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

After verbs that refer to thoughts, feelings and opinions (e.g. believe, consider, feel, know, find, think and understand) to be is sometimes used before the complement.

I consider the plan to be unwise.

Most people supposed him to be innocent.

They have proved themselves to be worthy of our trust.

I knew him to be conscientious.

After consider, it is possible to drop to be before adjectives, and sometimes before nouns.

I considered him an excellent choice. OR I considered him to be an excellent choice.

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