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

Hello taj25,

The verb 'make' is used (instead of 'do') with 'mistakes' - we make mistakes. And if there is more than one mistake, then you could say 'He made a lot of mistakes'. Or, if he made only one mistake, but it was an important one, you could say 'He made a big mistake'. 

Does that help?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

thank you so much your response

Hello sir,
As 8th quiz,
He's buying his son his first car.
Does it sound natural?( I'm not arguing with your sentence). Could be used in general taking? Or
If I say,He's buying his son's first car.is it correct?

Hello dlis,

Both sentences are possible but there is a difference in meaning.

He's buying his son his first car      - this means that the car will be for his son and that his son has not owned any cars before.

He's buying his son's first car      - this could mean the same as the first sentence, but it could also mean that he is buying a car from his son, so it is rather ambiguous.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,
The sentences which has double object and if the indirect object is next to the main verb,it should be skipped the proposition. Is it correct?
She told him to go home.
In here, "him"is the indirect object and" to"is the preposition.
Could I say,
She told him go home.

Hello dlis,

No, that would not be correct. The 'to' here is part of the infinitive and it is required. This is a reported command - a reported imperative - and the construction is [tell + sb + to verb].

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

Can we say: Why don’t you write a letter to explain her?

Best wishes,
Max

Hello Max,

I understand that sentence completely, but it's not grammatically correct. The verb 'explain' always has at least a direct object (e.g. 'She explained the idea') or a direct object and a prepositional phrase acting as an indirect object (e.g. 'She explained the idea to us'), but not just an indirect object (as in your sentence).

If you read the page I linked to above, you'll see a more complete explanation with examples.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Consider this sentence - "She fed the alligator a cat" What's the direct object here? Since this sentence is another way of saying "She fed a cat to the alligator" you could say the cat is the direct object. But that seems off kilter when you consider what happens when you take out the supposed indirect object- the alligator. "She fed a cat" just means she gave food to a cat, not what it is supposed to mean here; that the cat was the food. To take a less predatory example; "She fed her cat fish and rice", the obvious direct object is fish and rice. But then "She fed fish and rice" doesn't stand alone, needing no explanation the way "She fed her cat" does. Does this mean that the verb feed is a stand alone verb which sort of defies the usual rule governing direct and indirect objects. Is the confusion because 'feed' can also be an intransitive verb as in "The hyna feeds on carrion"

Hi Darshanie Ratnawalli,

You've hit upon a subject that there is some argument about; some argue that it is possible for a verb to have two direct objects whereas others say there are direct and indirect objects in sentences like the ones you ask about.

For people trying to learn to speak and write English, I think the best way to think about it is to consider the verb 'feed' to have several different uses, each of which has a syntactical pattern associated with it. When it is a verb with one object, it is a direct object ('She fed the cat') (with the additional rule that the object must be capable of eating) and when there are two objects ('She fed the cat fish') it has an indirect and direct object.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

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