Direct Object

In grammar, there are two types of objects. They are
1. Direct object
2. Indirect object

In this article, we are discussing about Direct object.

Meaning of Direct Object

Literally, direct means immediate effect and object means a person or a thing.

Therefore, we can say that Direct object refers to a noun or a pronoun which receives an action of a verb or shows the result of an action.
In other words, direct object is a receiver of an action (Verb).

We can know it easily by asking questions ‘what’ and ‘whom’ as the answer is always Direct object. Direct object follows Transitive Verb.

How can we recognize Direct object?

It is a very easy task as we have a formula.

Subject + Verb + What/Who = Direct object

The boy played basketball.
The boy – Subject
played – Verb
basketball – Direct object (answers what)

Kate trusted the wrong guy.
Kate – Subject
trusted – Verb
the wrong guy – Direct object (answers whom)

Direct Object Can Follow Verbals

We can also find Direct object after Verbals.

Now, what are Verbals?
Verbals are words formed from verbs however they are seen to be functioning as different part of speech ( Participle, Infinitives or Gerunds ).

The formula is similar to before:

Verbal + what/who = Direct Object


Killing her ego was the most difficult thing.
Killing – Gerund
her ego – Direct object (answers ‘what’)

To help his mother, he left his job in the city.
To help - Infinitive
his mother – Direct Object

Hence, we can see that Direct object conveys us that information in a sentence without which meaning of a sentence is incomplete.

What else should we know about Direct Object?

1. Phrases and clauses can be direct objects.

Phrases are group of words which do not have a subject and Clauses are group of words which have a subject.

My mother likes planting trees.
Likes - Verb
planting trees – Direct object (answers question ‘what’)

His boyfriend expects her to cook food.
expects – Verb
to cook food – Direct object (answers question ‘what’)

2.. We should not confuse Subject Complement as Direct object nor, should we use Subject Pronouns as Direct Object.

What is a Subject Complement?
Subject Complement is an Adjective, Noun or a Pronoun that follows a Linking Verb.
is, am, are, has been, might have been

What is Subject pronoun?
Subject pronoun is a Personal Pronoun which is used as a subject.
I, he, she, they, it etc.