Grammar Direct Object: Examples of Direct Objects |
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Direct Object: Examples of Direct Objects

Different words play different roles in a sentence. Direct objects are words that have a specific function in forming a statement. Being able to identify and understand their role is a useful skill for those who want to be clear and versatile in their writing.

Today’s post will review direct objects and give some examples so you can recognize how direct objects function in your compositions.

What Is a Direct Object in English Grammar?

Every complete sentence contains at least one verb (action word). Direct objects receive the action of a transitive verb; they are what is being acted upon. Direct objects can be a single noun, a phrase, or even a clause.

That might sound complicated, but it’s easy once you start working backward from the action word in a sentence. Let’s look at a few examples:

The pilot flies the plane south.

What is being acted upon? In this sentence, the verb (action) is flies. What object does the pilot fly? The pilot flies the plane, making the noun plane the direct object.

Jill loves her dog.

Loves is the action word here. What is loved (i.e., the receiver of the love)? The dog receives Jill’s love, making the noun dog the direct object and her dog the direct-object phrase.

Justin enjoys playing his new drum set on weekends.

The verb is enjoys, and the actor of the verb is Justin. What does Justin enjoy (act upon)? He enjoys playing his new drum set, making the gerund phrase playing his new drum set the direct object.

The service will make sure that the package is delivered on time.

The verb phrase is will make sure, and the actor of the verb is the service. What will the service make sure of (what is receiving the action)? The service will make sure that the package is delivered on time, making the entire relative clause starting with that the direct object of the sentence.

As you can see, it doesn’t matter if the receiver of an action is one word or several. Once you locate the verb in a sentence, identifying the direct object is easy if the verb is transitive. Simply determine what the verb is acting upon, and you’ll have your answer.

 

Pop Quiz

Putting what you understand into use, identify the direct object in each sentence. Remember the direct object can be a single noun, a full phrase, or a clause.

  1. Jonathan saw a banana peel on the street.
  2. My cat likes to chase butterflies.
  3. I ate chocolate cake on my birthday.
  4. Rebecca brushed her tangled hair.
  5. The waiter said we could order either pizza or pasta.

 

Pop Quiz Answers

  1. Jonathan saw a banana peel on the street.
  2. My cat likes to chase butterflies.
  3. I ate chocolate cake on my birthday.
  4. Rebecca brushed her tangled hair.
  5. The waiter said we could order either pizza or pasta.

 

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