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.






Hello Sir,

Are the following sentences correct,

When are you bought a cycle?
When was he sold it?

Thank you.

Hello KMC1,

No, those sentences are not correct. I'm not sure what you are trying to say in terms of the time reference (past, present, present perfect etc) so I don't want to suggest a correct version, but you can find information on how to form questions on this page.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team


I want to ask whether someone has swum this month:

1. Have you been swimming this month?
2. Have you gone swimming this month?

Number one sounds like the present perfect continuous. I feel as if I am asking, "Have you been swimming repeatedly this month?"

I like number two, but I am afraid that in might be mistaken.

Thank you!

Hello Alice Wang,

Both of these are possible and are quite commonly used. I don't think that there is any difference in meaning.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you very much.

Hello LearnEnglish Team!

I would like you to tell me if I'm right about something.

I suspect "Don't take money from me." is correct but
"Don't take me money" is wrong. Am I right?

Thank you. You guys are extremely helpful!

François Fiset

Hello François,

Both sentences are grammatically correct but there is a big difference in meaning between them.

Don't take money from me means something like 'Please don't steal money from me'.

Don't take me money means 'It is not necessary to prepare any money for me (because I don't need any or already have some).


I hope that clarifies it for you.


Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Yes, like :
'Don't take me a hamburger, I'm not hungry.'
I think I understand.
Thank You

Hello Sir
I did the exercises given above. It is very useful and I answered well.
But I have a question regarding the tpoic.
When using to/for is there any rule other than the the types of verbs we use when using
to/for such as: when we are talking about direction we use 'to' and 'for' when we talk about location. FOR eg They flew for London not to London; She was late for school not to school.; Is this the train for London? Not to London but I went to school by tran.Not for school.
Would you please explain the reason or any rule for this difference.
Thank you.

Hello Andrew international,

Prepositions are used highly irregularly in English. As far as I know there is no general rule or set of rules that will help you know which is correct in each situation. In my variety of English, at least, and I think in general, you could say both 'to' or 'for' to fly to London, but 'to' is much more common. You could also use 'for' or 'to' for school, but 'for' is more common. The same is true for the train.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team