Hey Snarky,Piece of cake, Lily. I'll walk you through the difference between both types of objects, and I'll even give you a foolproof way to make sure you have it right.
I am very confused about how to tell a direct object from an indirect object. Please help!
How to spot a direct object:
- An action verb works directly (no preposition) on a direct object.
- Ask a question using this formula:
Subject + Verb + What/Whom? >> Direct Object
The fans loved their team. The fans loved whom? >> their team
I rode my bike to school. I rode what? >> my bike
Her teacher hates when Maria snaps her gum. Her teacher hates what? >> when Maria snaps her gum.
- A direct object can be a noun, pronoun, or phrase. I am going to rake the leaves. He hates playing golf. She likes him.
How to spot an indirect object:
- You can't have an indirect object without a direct object.
- Look for a (real or invisible) preposition. Hint: An indirect object is frequently a person who receives something, such as a gift or a communication. The indirect object answers the question: To/For/From whom?
- I gave the book to Joe. I gave Joe the book. I gave what? The book (direct object). To whom? Joe (indirect object).
- I told the girls the news. I told the news to the girls. I told what? The news (direct object). To whom? The girls (indirect object).
- My sister made a bracelet for me. My sister made me a bracelet. My sister made what? A bracelet (direct object). For whom? Me (indirect object).
- I gave Joe his birthday present. I gave his birthday present to Joe. I gave what? His birthday present (direct object). To whom? Joe (indirect object).
- She baked the kids some cookies. She baked some cookies for the kids. She baked what? Some cookies (direct object). For whom? The kids (indirect object).
- I bought myself a new sweater. I bought a new sweater for myself. I bought what? A new sweater (direct object). For whom? Myself (indirect object).
- If you remove the direct object, the sentence will no longer make sense. I bought myself
a new sweater.
- If you remove the indirect object, the sentence will make sense but you won't know 'to whom?' or 'for whom?' I bought
myselfa new sweater.