Direct and Indirect Object

What is an object?

An object in grammar is a part of a sentence, and often part of the predicate. It refers to someone or something involved in the subject's "performance" of the verb. It is what the verb is being done to. As an example, the following sentence is given:

  • Leila wrote the poem - the "poem" is the object.

"Leila" is the subject, the doer or performer, while "wrote" is the action, and "poem" is the object involved in the action.

Types of object

There are two types of object: direct and indirect objects

Direct object

A direct object answers the question "What?"


  • David repaired his car - his car is the direct object of the verb repaired ( What did David repair?)
  • The man visited the museum - the museum is the direct object of the verb visited (what did the man visit?)

Indirect Object

An indirect object answers the question "To whom?" or "For whom?". An indirect object is the recipient of the direct object, or an otherwise affected participant in the event. There must be a direct object for an indirect object to be placed in a sentence. In other words an indirect object cannot exist without a direct object.


  • They sent him a postcard - him is the indirect object of the verb sent.(To whom did they send a postcard?)
  • He bought his son a bike - his son is the indirect object of the verb bought. (For whom he bought a bike?)

You may also be interested in:

Exercise on Direct and Indirect Object
Parts of speech
Direct and indirect objects