Some verbs, like give and bring can have two different patterns after them:

 

Noun Phrase (Subject) Verb Phrase Noun Phrase
(Direct object)
Prepositional
phrase
She
They
gave
brought
some money
a lot of food
to the old man
for the animals
     >>>>  <<<<
Noun Phrase (Subject) Verb Phrase Noun Phrase
(Indirect object)
Noun Phrase
(Direct object)
She
They
gave
brought
the old man
the animals
some money
a lot of food

These verbs are called double object verbs. When we have two noun phrases after the verb the first noun phrase is the indirect object and the second noun phrase is the direct object.

Exercise

Comments

Hi MikeOne,

This is a question which does not have a clear answer, I'm afraid. There is not fixed grammatical rule about the position of indirect and direct objects - it depends on usage (what is normal and common or standard) and the particular verb. For example, I would say that sentence (a) sounds fine, while sentence (b) sounds rather odd. On the other hand with other verbs than 'convey' we can move the order around more freely:

I gave a biscuit to him.

I gave him a biscuit.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Peter,
I thank you for the answer and think to understand the pragmatic of the matter or the rule. It is a question of stile and not of pure grammatical definition.

Best wishes for your work here
Mike

Dear teacher, i hope you are doing well, i need your help urgently, can you please show me where the word order context in this site, i can not find, i need (compound) complicated word order for building the correct sentence. because my biggest weakness is not to build correct sentences in order

best regards

your student :)

Hello Aydin,

You can find explanations of clauses and sentences in the Clause, phrase and sentence section of our Grammar Reference.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi:
I want ask about Indirect object is it must be Noun Phrase
is Prepositional phrase in this sentence
(She gave some money to the old man )
function as post modifier only

Hello nkmg,

Yes, the prepositional phrase must come after the noun. That means the correct word order is:

She gave some money to the old man.

It is not correct to say

She gave to the old man some money.

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello peter :

In this sentence
( She gave some money to the old man). some money is the indirect object & ( to the old man ) is post modifier where is the direct object here?

Hello nkmg,

In this sentence 'some money' is the direct object. The indirect object is 'the old man', which is found in a prepositional phrase.

You can see this more clearly, perhaps, if you change the word order:

She gave the old man some money.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,
Which of them more practical and common in spoken English when we have got a verb with double objects?
N+V+Direct obj+ Prepositional phrase or N+V+in direct obj+ direct obj
or it depends on verbs?

Hello rita7,

There are a few verbs, such as explain, describe, suggest, carry and take, that always take the form with a prepositional phrase and not the other, but otherwise both are used extensively. Perhaps the form with the preposition phrase is a bit more used in more formal contexts and the other form slightly more common in informal contexts, but both are very common.

Best wishes,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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