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Sentence Structure: Subject-Verb-Indirect Object-Direct Object

Understanding Subject-Verb-Indirect Object-Direct Object (SVOi Od ) sentences

A subject - verb - indirect object - direct object sentence consists of a subject, a ditransitive verb See the glossary definition , an indirect object See the glossary definition , and a direct object See the glossary definition . The subject, indirect object and direct objects are always filled by a noun phrase or a nominal See the glossary definition clause, and the indirect object is often a pronoun.

The subject in the sentence above is a one-word noun phrase - a personal pronoun. The indirect object is also a pronoun. The direct object is a two-word noun phrase (determiner + noun). In these structures the indirect object almost always precedes the direct object, as in this case.

Here are a few more examples (click and drag to stop, start and find the sentence you wish to examine):

You can view an analysis of some of the noun phrases in the above examples in the animations below (click on Subject to view each noun phrase).

In the above example we could rewrite the sentence as "They found a more suitable job for her." Many SV-Indirect Object-Direct Object sentences can be rewritten in this way.

In the above example the direct object "the confidence to investigate further" is slightly longer. The head is "confidence" and it is postmodified by a to-clause. Some direct objects can be much longer than this. You can see more examples on the SVOi Od page.

In the above example the direct object "what they are interested in" is a nominal relative clause See the glossary definition .

You can see further examples of this structure on the SVOi Od page and test yourself on the SVOi Od exercise page.

Examples on this page were sourced from (Clift 2020), (Khosa, Ozdil, and Burch 2023).

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