Some verbs can be followed by two objects – a direct object and an indirect object.
Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object
- The President awarded John a gold medal. (indirect object – John; direct object – a gold medal)
- My mother told me an interesting story.
- We promised our guide a nice reward.
- The teacher wished the boys all success.
- He bade his friends a sad farewell.
‘The President awarded the gold medal’ to whom? To John.
‘We promised a nice reward to whom?’ To our guide.
The answer to the question to whom or for whom is the indirect object. It is usually a person or persons.
Subject + verb + direct object + preposition + indirect object
This order is preferred when the direct object is shorter than the indirect object, or when the indirect object has to be stressed.
- He distributed chocolates to all the boys in his class. (Direct object – chocolates, Indirect object – all the boys in his class)
- I don’t lend my books to anybody.
- Don’t show the letter to any of your friends.
- The hostess made coffee for all of us.
- She ordered a new dress for herself.
- The tailor made a suit for my father-in-law.
Complete the following sentences using an indirect object or a direct object, as required.
1. I bought ——————— a present.
2. He threw the beggar ———————-
3. The British Council offered him ———————
4. The man sent ——————– a message.
1. him / her / them / John / Alice etc
2. a coin / a loaf of bread etc
3. a scholarship / an award etc
4. me / us / them etc