What are Phrasal Verbs?

ALULA staff, Updated on September 07, 2023

  • A direct object is the receiver of the action. It's usually a noun or a pronoun.
  • A direct object answers the questions "what?" or "whom?"
  • An indirect object is the secondary receiver of the action. It comes before the direct object.
  • An indirect object answers the questions "to whom?" or "for whom?"
  • You cannot just have an indirect object without a direct object.

What are Direct Objects?

Direct objects are the receiver of the action in a sentence. They answer the question "what?" or "whom?". They come after a verb.


  • Amy reads books.

    "reads" = verb, "books" = direct object.

  • George loves her.

    "loves" = verb, "her" = direct object.

What are Indirect Objects?

Indirect objects are like the secondary receivers in a sentence. They answer the question "To whom?" or "For whom?". Indirect objects always come before the direct object.

  • A person giving another person a gift
  • grammar showing gift giving


  • I give my friend a gift.

    "give" = verb, "my friend" = indirect object, "a gift" = direct object.

  • My father sends my mother a birthday card every year.

    "sends" = verb, "my mother" = indirect object, "a birthday card" = direct object.

Note: You can have only a direct object. However, you CANNOT have only an indirect object.


  • I give a gift.

    There is no indirect object. (OK)

  • I give my friend.

    There is no direct object. (Not OK)

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