A direct object receives the action performed by the subject. The verb used with a direct object is always an action verb. Another way of saying it is that the subject does the verb to the direct object. Example: The car hit the tree. To find the direct object, say the subject and verb followed by whom or what. The car hit whom or what? Tree answers the question so tree is the direct object.
If nothing answers the question whom or what, you know that there is no direct object. Example: The car sped past. The car sped whom or what? Nothing answers the question so the sentence has no direct object.
The direct object must be a noun or pronoun. A direct object will never be in a prepositional phrase. The direct object will not equal the subject as the predicate nominative, nor does it have a linking verb as a predicate nominative sentences does.
Instructions: Find the subjects, verbs, and direct objects in the following sentences.
1. Paul built a doll house for Hayley.
2. The club members held a party in the park.
3. The audience cheered their favorite actors during the play.
4. Tiny children prefer short stories.
5. Terri really dialed a wrong number last night.
--For answers scroll down.
1. Paul = subject / built = verb / house = direct object
2. members = subject / held = verb / party = direct object
3. audience = subject / cheered = verb / actors = direct object
4. children = subject / prefer = verb / stories = direct object
5. Terri = subject / dialed = verb / number = direct object