Courtesy Oestara Publishing LLC

copyright 1996 Cynthia Joyce Clay

Please respect the copyright of the author by only reproducing for non-commercial purposes.


I came. I saw. I conqured.

YOU conquered.

SHE saw.

THEY left.

IT came back!

WE were amazed.


Tom and Juan lifted IT.

Maria put HER in IT.

There are three types of objects: direct objects, indirect objects, and objects of the preposition.

DIRECT OBJECTS receive the action of the verb.

For instance, in "The alien ate the human," the word "human" is the direct object because the "human" was what was eaten.

Direct objects are more easily found after the subject and verb have been found. Once the subject and verb are found use the subject and verb to help you form a question like this one: "The alien ate what?" "Ate" is the verb; "alien" is the subject; and the question "what" helps you find the direct object which is "human."

INDIRECT OBJECTS receive the direct object.

For instance, in "The alien gave the scientist a lazer," the word "scientist" is the indirect object because the "scientist" received the "lazer." The word "lazer" is the direct object because the "lazer" is what was given.

The indirect object usually comes between the verb and the direct object; however, the indirect object can also come after the direct object following the word "to."

For instance, in "The alien gave the lazer to the scientist," the word "scientist" is still the indirect object; it just comes after the direct object tucked in after the word "to."

To find the indirect object, find the verb then the subject, as usual, then find the direct object. Once you find those, form a question like this: "The alien gave the lazer to whom?" or like this: "The alien gave whom the lazer? You can also use the word "what" to help you find the indirect object: "The elf gave what a coat of paint?

Remember that in grammar, like in life, we are polite and put ourselves last.  Say and write "Tom and I went to the store." "The box was  a present from Sarah and me." What is good manners is also good grammar.

Objects of the preposition are merely nouns or pronouns that follow a preposition to complete a prepositional phrase.

When a subject is compound or an object is compound, you must still use the subjective form for subjects, and the objective form for objects.

For instance:

MARTHA AND I LIKE TO GO SHOPPING FOR MAGIC DUST. "I'" is used because a subject is needed. (The word "dust" is the object of the preposition "for.")

MARIA SELLS MAGIC WANDS AND IT . "It" is used because an object is needed.

MARIA SOLD BOTH OF THEM TO MARIA AND ME. "Them" and "ME" are used because objects are needed.

MARIA WISHED TOM AND ME LUCK. "Me" is used because an object is needed.

When dealing with a compound subject or object, just cover up the noun and the "and" with your thumb so that you can see clearly what is needed. Or, try saying the sentence twice.




When to use WHO and when to use WHOM commonly confuses students. WHO is the subjective form, and WHOM is the objective form. The trick to determining which to use is to remember:

WHO equals HE, and WHOM equals HIM

The m's on 'whom' and 'him' is your key. Whenever you would use the pronoun 'he' you would use 'who,' and whenever you would use the pronoun 'him' you would use 'whom.' For instance, if you would say

"You are speaking to hiM," then you would say,

"You are speaking to whoM?" If you would say,

"He went to the store," then you would say,

"Who went to the store?" If you would say,

"Maria gave hiM a ring," then you would say,

"Maria gave whoM a ring?"

Watch out for sneaky sentences which have dependant clauses that need a subject. For instance, "She will escape he who chases her," has the word 'he' in a place where normally a direct object would be found--"She will escape him.' However, the sentence has a clause that needs a subject, and so the 'he' is used. Thus, in the sentence, "She will escape whoever chases her," 'whoever' is used because the clause needs a subject.

As you can see, it is imperative to be able to find subjects and verbs. If you can not find subjects and verbs, go to The Grammar Table of Contents of Contents to find information and exercises on finding subjects and verbs. Otherwise, you are ready to try some exercises.