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Direct Object

This article is about Direct Object — enjoy your reading!

  Angbeen Chaudhary  —  Grammar Tips
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The language English is considered one of the easiest languages that exist. But when it comes to learning it and trying to understand it in a better way we come to know about so many things that one didn’t knew existed. We all know English grammar consist of subjects, verbs and objects in a sentence. Only a few people are aware about the further classifications of these parts of sentences.

Today, we will discuss about one such type of English grammar term known as direct object. Though seemingly simple, one needs a lot of concentration while identifying a direct object as it can be easily mistaken for other grammar terms.

Direct Object

An object is the person or thing in a sentence that is the center of action or on which the action is directed.  A direct object is not so different than a simple object. A direct object is the noun in a sentence for which the verb is used in the same sentence. The action of the verb in a sentence is directed upon the direct object.


The musician is playing the piano.

In the above example, playing is the verb and it is directed upon the piano i.e. object or in this case direct object.

Now this example was quite simple as is only consisted of a single verb and a single direct object. When complex sentences are written, more than one verb or object is used when it becomes somewhat confusing to figure out the right direct object for the verb.

To limit this confusion there is a simple trick. In order to correctly identify the direct object to a particular verb, read the verb and ask yourself the questions what? or who? The answer to those questions will be the direct object.


Pouring water in the bottle, James smiled.

Now take this example and find the verb. Pouring is the main verb in this example. Now ask the question what? The obvious answer is water. There goes your direct object.

Along with being a word, the direct object can be a phrase or a clause too.


The manager thought the meeting was adjourned.

In the above case, the direct object is a phrase rather than a word. The verb thought is directed towards the phrase the meeting was adjourned.

She loves eating pepperoni pizza.

Likewise, in this example loves is the verb and eating pepperoni pizza is the direct object in the form of a clause.

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