Topic: Direct Object

These resources relate to the grammatical function Direct Object. The Direct Object is needed to complete the meaning of some verbs, and often expresses who or what has an action done to them, e.g. the baby in Joe tickled the baby. But this is not always true, so these resources look at typical grammatical properties which distinguish Direct Objects, like their position after the verb phrase.

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.

Grammatical functions in the clause

The description of word classes, phrases, and clauses in terms of their structure is part of the study of form. We now turn to the study of grammar from the perspective of function: this notion refers to what words, phrases and clauses do as units of language.


Englicious contains many resources for English language in schools, but the vast majority of them require you to register and log in first. For more information, see What is Englicious?

Englicious (C) Survey of English Usage, UCL, 2012-21 | Supported by the AHRC and EPSRC. | Privacy | Cookies