We know what objects are? Don’t we? Object itself is a common noun and refers to something that can be seen and touched. Even a beginner level learner of English language knows and understands the term object. But did you know there is another meaning of object in English language? Yes, there is another object called grammatical object which is used and understood in English grammar.
In English grammar, an object is a noun or a pronoun that exists in a sentence and is directed by the main verb of that sentence. In other words, a noun or noun phrase on which the action is taking place is known as object of English grammar.
She likes soup.
In the above sentence, the verb likes is acting upon the noun soup so that makes soup the object of this sentence. In this example, the object is a single noun.
She likes to eat soup.
Now consider this example. The phrase to eat soup as a whole is acting as an object in this sentence thus this is an example of an object existing as a noun phrase.
One easy way of identifying the object in the sentence is to first identify the verb and then ask the question what? or who? of the verb.
The giant ate the whole pie.
By using the above trick, lets figure out the object. First, identify the verb. The only verb in this sentence is ate. Now ask the question what? or ate what? The obvious answer is the whole pie. Thus, the whole pie is the object of this sentence.
There are two main types of objects which include direct object and indirect object.
The main object on which the main verb of the sentence is acting upon is called direct object.
All the above examples discussed are the examples of direct object.
The secondary object of the sentence is known as the indirect object. The indirect object is the one which receives activity from the direct object. Simple trick to identify the indirect object of the sentence is by identifying the direct object and asking the question what or who?
Sara felt her heart beat faster.
In the above example, the direct object is heart which we figured out by asking felt what? (felt=verb). Now ask heart what? answer: beat faster. Thus beat faster is the indirect object of this sentence.