1. 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: V + N (indirect object) + N (direct object)

2. 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 : V + N (direct object) + Prepositional phrase (indirect object)

3. Common verbs with for and an indirect object are:

  • book
  • buy
  • get
  • cook
  • keep
  • bring
  • make
  • pour
  • save
  • find

They booked a table for me at the restaurant.
We made toys for all the children.

4. Common verbs with to and an indirect object are:

  • give
  • lend
  • offer
  • pass
  • post
  • read
  • sell
  • send
  • show
  • promise
  • tell

He gave his programme to the man sitting next to him.
They sent Christmas cards to all their customers.

5. 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.

6. If the indirect object is a pronoun we normally use the N + V + N + N pattern:

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


 

Exercise

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Comments

hi kirk

if you were talented person that you could have start the construction company.

are the sentence grammatically correct? and does any make sense?

best regards
hussain

Hi hussein,

It's not quite correct but the sense is clear - a hypothetical comment. The correct sentence would be:

If you were a talented person you could have started a/the construction company.

The article in the second clause will depend on the context. If you are talking about a specific company (which already exists but was started by someone else) then 'the' will be appropriate. If you are talking in more general terms then 'a' will be correct.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

thank you so much . its very helpful tips

Good Day:
Kindly help with the following problem:
I understand the indirect object answers the questions "to whom" and "for whom."
What about other prepositions? They ran with her. I left without them. They threw the ball at the house. I put it on the table. Are the words after with, without, at, on, indirect objects? Or prepositional something-or-others?

Hello Tirocinio,

In English we distinguish between three types of objects: direct, indirect and prepositional. You can read more about these on this page. Indirect objects do not occur on their own; they occur when there is also a direct object and they can be used in conjunction with 'to' or 'for' - or simply by themselves:

I gave him the book.

I gave the book to him.

The other examples you mention have prepositional phrases, not indirect objects. Prepositional phrases have several roles - see this page for more information.

For a list of other pages related to prepositions click here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Please help me with a grammar problem.
Today, I found a sentence "Taiwanese aged 19 to 50 were grouped..." or something like that. And I was shocked because this kind of sentence structure is only seen with double-object verbs (as in "I was given a present" - The indirect object of 'give' was changed to the subject as the verb 'give' is used in passive form.)
So I tried to make a sentence using the verb "age" and 2 objects: "Time aged me 50 years" and I guess it's grammatically right, though I'm not sure.

But according to this article, verbs with 2 objects often accompany a preposition 'to' or 'for'. So which one of these two prepositions work for the verb 'age'?

Time aged 50 years to me
or
Time aged 50 years for me

Which one is grammatically correct?

Hello scrim01,

I'd need to see the full sentence and context to be sure, but I think you've misunderstood the phrase 'Taiwanese aged 19 to 50 were grouped ...' I believe that this means there was a group of Taiwanese people between the ages of 19 and 50; these people were put into groups.

I say this because 1) it's a common structure in English and 2) the other sentences you suggest (e.g. 'Time aged 50 years to me') are not grammatical.

It's great that you're analysing things this carefully - you'll learn a lot this way!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

hi,
could you please give more information on other verbs such as announce, describe, explain,... and also verbs such as cause, ask, allow?!

Hello bahman.adabi,

I'm afraid that what we do in the comments is limited to answering questions about what is on our site or answering short, specific questions. I'd suggest you do an internet search for 'double object verbs' or 'verbs with two objects' and that you look up each of these verbs in the dictionary to analyse the example sentences you can find there. For example, here is the Cambridge Dictionary entry for 'announce'.

Good luck!

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Am I wrong or your latest example has a mistake in?
"their mother read them another story"
or
"their mother reads them"
?

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