Level: beginner

Some verbs have two objects, an indirect object and a direct object:

Subject Verb Indirect object Direct object
My wife sent me an email.
He brought his mother some flowers.
He cooked all his friends a delicious meal.

These clauses have the structure:

Verb + Noun (indirect object) + Noun (direct object)

Alternatively, we can use a prepositional phrase with to or for with an indirect object:

Subject Verb Direct object Prepositional phrase
My wife sent an email to me.
He brought some flowers for his mother.
He cooked a delicious meal for all his friends.

These clauses have the structure:

Verb + Noun (direct object) + to/for + Noun (indirect object)

Common verbs with to and an indirect object are:

give
lend
offer
pass
post
promise
read
sell

 
send
show

 
tell
write

 

He gave his programme to the man next to him.
He gave the man next to him his programme.

They sent Christmas cards to all their customers.
They sent all their customers Christmas cards.

Common verbs with for and an indirect object are:

book
bring
buy
cook
find
get
keep
make
pour
save

They booked a table for me at the restaurant.
They booked me a table at the restaurant.

We made toys for all the children.
We made all the children toys.

If the indirect object is a long phrase, we normally use to or for:

He showed his ticket to the policeman standing by the door.
We kept something to eat and drink for all the people who arrived late.

If the indirect object is a pronoun, we normally use the Verb + Noun + Noun pattern:

I poured him another drink.
Their mother read them another story.

Double object verbs 1

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Double object verbs 2

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