What Is an Object? (with Examples)
What Is an Object? (with Examples)An object is a noun (or pronoun) that is governed by a verb or a preposition. There are 3 kinds of objects: a direct object, an indirect object, and an object of a preposition.
Examples of a Direct ObjectThe direct object of a verb is the thing being acted upon (i.e., the receiver of the action). You can find the direct object by finding the verb and asking "what?" or "whom?". For example:
- Please pass the butter. (Q: pass what? A: the butter)
- I don't have a bank account, because I don't know my mother's maiden name. (Paula Poundstone) (Q: don't have what? A: a bank account)
(Q: don't know what? A: my mother's maiden name)
Examples of an Indirect ObjectThe indirect object is the recipient of the direct object. You can find the indirect object by finding the direct object (see above) and then asking who or what received it. In the examples below, the indirect objects are shaded, and the direct objects are in bold.
- Please pass Simon the butter. (Q: pass what? A: the butter)
- Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do, and they will surprise you with their ingenuity. (George S Patton, 1885-1945) (Q: tell what? A: how to do things)
(Q: Who (or what) received the butter? A: Simon)
(Q: Who (or what) received it? A: people)
(Q: tell what? A: what to do)
(Q: Who (or what) received it? A: them)
Read more about indirect objects.
Examples of an Object of a PrepositionThe noun or pronoun after a preposition is known as the object of a preposition. In the examples below, the objects of prepositions are shaded, and prepositions are in bold.
- She lives near Brighton.
- She lives with him.
- You can tell a lot about a fellow's character by his way of eating jellybeans. (Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004)
Objects Are in the Objective CaseObjects are always in the objective case. In English, this only affects pronouns (but not all pronouns). For example:
- She saw him. (The pronoun him is the objective case version of he (which is the subjective case).)
- Give them the money. (The pronoun them is the objective case version of they.)
- Dance with her. (The pronoun her is the objective case version of she.)
|Subjective Pronoun||Objective Pronoun||Comment|
|who||whom||More on who & whom|
Who is to He as Whom is to HimThe word who is never an object. Objects are put into the objective case, and the objective case of who is whom. For example:
- You saw whom? (direct object)
- You gave whom the book? (indirect object)
- You wrote about whom? (object of a preposition)
Whom is to who as:
me is to I
him is to he
her is to she
us is to we
and them is to they
Read more about who and whom.