A function label for an element in the clause which typically comes after the verb phrase and identifies the person or thing that undergoes the situation described by the main verb. For example, in Greg stroked the dog, the function of Direct Object is filled by the dog. See also Object, which is the term preferred in the National Curriculum.

Direct Object or Subject Complement?

Is the highlighted Complement a Direct Object or a Subject Complement?

Identify the Object

Find the Object in a range of examples

Identify the Object in each of the following clauses. Click on the first and last words of the Object of each clause to select or deselect them.

Y6 GPaS Test: Identify the Objects

Find the Object in a range of examples

Identify the Object in each of the following examples. Click on the word (or words) that comprise the Object to select or deselect them.

Direct Object

Consider the examples below. What do the highlighted phrases add to the meanings?

  • He stroked the dog. [W2F-018 #175]
  • They carried mugs of beer. [W2F-018 #140]

These phrases tell us who or what is being 'verbed', i.e. who is undergoing the action denoted by the verbs, in these situations: the dog is stroked, the mugs of beer are carried. Without these phrases, our examples would be incomplete.

Sentence types: simple, compound, complex

This unit further explains simple sentences, compound sentences and complex sentences, which were introduced in the unit 'Clauses: main and subordinate'. Simple sentences contain one clause, while compound and complex sentences contain more than one clause.

National Curriculum note: The National Curriculum now refers to sentences that contain one clause as single-clause sentences, and those that contain more than one clause as multi-clause sentences.


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