Direct and indirect object
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Direct and indirect object exercises
PDF worksheets with keys:
PDF exercises to download for free.
Direct and indirect objects PDF exercise 1
- Complete sentences:
I wanted to give her a doll.
I wanted to give a doll to her.
Direct and indirect objects PDF exercise 2
- Complete dialogues. Use a preposition if necessary:
Did you give Jim the key?
Yes, I gave ___ . (it - him)
Yes, I gave it to him.
Online exercises with answers:
Direct and indirect object exercise 1 Put words in the correct order:
My mum made ___ . (for/a cake/me)
Direct and indirect object exercise 2 Complete short dialogues:
Did you send Mary the postcard? - Yes, I sent ___ . (it - her)
Direct and indirect object exercise 3 Complete sentences with words in brackets:
I've bought ___ . (it - Helen)
Direct and indirect object exercise 4 Correct mistakes:
He wrote to Dan a letter. - He wrote ___ .
Grammar rules PDF:
Direct and indirect object rules PDF Grammar rules with examples to download for free.
English grammar PDF All PDF rules on this website.
Direct and indirect object
In English verbs can be followed by direct and indirect objects. Have a look at the following examples.
I sent Mary some flowers.
I sent some flowers to Mary.
These two sentences contain both kinds of objects. Flowers are the direct object. It refers to what I sent. Mary is the indirect object. It refers to whom I sent it.
As you can see, the word order in these two sentences is different - Mary and flowers can be placed first or second in each of these examples.
The word order in sentences with two objects
1. If the indirect object comes first in a sentence, there is no preposition.
They gave Harold a new car.
Mrs. Jones offered the girls a cake.
My grandma always wishes me a good luck.
2. If the indirect object comes second, a preposition must be used.
They gave a new car to Harold.
Mrs Jones offered a cake to the girls.
My grandma always wishes a good luck to me.
3. If the direct object is a pronoun (it, this ... ), it comes first and we must use a preposition. Compare the difference in the following examples.
I bought it for my sister.
Can you send it to him?
I'll get it for you as soon as I can.
(Not: I bought my sister it. Can you send him it? I'll get you it as soon as I can.)
If the verbs read and write are only followed by the indirect object, a preposition must be used.
Please, read to me. (Not: Please, read me).
You must write to your parents next weekend.) (Not: You must write your parents next weekend.)
The following examples, however, will show the possible positions of two different objects that are used after the verbs read and write.
Read me the letter. Read the letter to me.
You must write your parents an e-mail. You must write an e-mail to your parents.
Promise, show, tell
We can use the verbs promise, show, and tell with the indirect object only, but without a preposition. Compare the examples.
I can't promise you. (Or: I can't promise it to you.)
Show him. (Or: Show it to him.)
Can you tell me?
(But: Can you say it to me? After the verb say we must use the pronoun and preposition.)
See also how we use the direct and indirect objects in the passive voice.