The object of a sentence is the entity (represented by a noun) which is affected by the action (represented by a verb).

Objects can be either of two types:

  • direct object – an item in a sentence which indicates the thing or being which is immediately affected by the action of the verb
    • eg. he bought a book, she saw the boy
    • note that the effect on the object may not be tangible – in these example sentences, the book is affected by the person buying it, while the boy is not affected by the person seeing him
    • Direct objects follow transitive verbs
  • indirect object – an item in a sentence which accompanies the direct object and which frequently denotes the person or thing affected by an action
    • eg She wrote a letter to her cousin; She gave him the book.
  • For an indirect object to appear, a sentence normally already has a direct object.
  • In English, indirect objects are normally indicated by the word to or the form of the pronoun