Definition of direct object in English:

direct object


  • A noun phrase denoting a person or thing that is the recipient of the action of a transitive verb, for example the dog in Jimmy fed the dog.

    Compare with indirect object
    • ‘Suddenly they understand the difference between a subject and direct object and why we have two words ‘I’ and ‘me’ in English.’
    • ‘They often appear without the final nominative ‘s’, as if they had been heard in conversation only in their accusative form, although in their contexts in the book they do not always serve as direct objects.’
    • ‘This book turns that epigram on its head and uses analysis of English expressions to help beginning Hebrew students understand direct objects, nominal sentences, verb tenses, etc.’
    • ‘Some verbs are standardly said to be much more rigid, insisting on an overt direct object noun phrase.’
    • ‘The Kuki-Chin-Lushai languages have both verb - subject and verb - indirect object agreement systems but do not have verb - direct object agreement system.’
    • ‘It is typically animate and the recipient of the direct object.’
    • ‘I'm surprised to learn that the French verb préparer can be used with the prepared-for threat or challenge expressed as a direct object.’
    • ‘It's like crawl, laugh, cry, snore, etc., in that it doesn't normally take a direct object noun phrase: you don't sleep something, you just sleep; you don't cry something, you just cry; and so on.’
    • ‘An ergative system is one in which the subject of an intransitive verb is treated grammatically like the direct object of a transitive verb, while the subject of a transitive verb is treated differently.’
    • ‘Now some transitive verbs have the luxury of governing two objects, a direct object and an indirect object; let's call them ditransitive.’
    • ‘No, he has never ‘pondered on’ anything, ‘ponder’ being a transitive verb, taking a direct object, not a prepositional phrase.’
    • ‘As an example, someone once commented that a model of mine predicted (incorrectly, he thought) that the verb titrate should be grammatical with an implicit direct object.’
    • ‘The other word could be a noun that would ordinarily appear as the verb's direct object, as in peoplewatching or peoplewatcher (agentive).’
    • ‘It has been noted that the ‘idiomatic’ part mostly concerns a dependency relation between a head and its complement, in many cases between a verb and its direct object.’
    • ‘Or perhaps, following her lead, we should dispense with the direct object and say, intransitively: ‘the ways in which certain words and phrases hurt.’’
    • ‘Using a straight news story, circle all the direct objects in blue, the indirect objects in red, and the objects of prepositions in green.’
    • ‘Each sentence contains a keyword that relates to the overall economy in the subject or direct object position of the sentence.’
    • ‘Ariadne's image-ideas have become reflective ideas, ideas which, besides including their direct objects, also include reflections on the relations between the idea of their direct objects and other ideas.’
    • ‘To be fair, it's not totally out of the question that some people might be moving in the direction of using ‘belong’ with a location as direct object.’
    • ‘This comparison, between the direct object of a transitive verb and the intentional object of a state of mind, was originally made in a classic paper by Anscombe.’