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.
Direct objects may be compound. Example: The car hit the tree and the fence. The car hit whom or what? Tree and fence answer the question so tree and fence are the direct objects.
Instructions: Find the subjects, verbs, and direct objects in these sentences.
1. The students of these lessons have studied subjects and verbs.
2. The hungry man ate cake, pie and rolls continually.
3. John wants a bicycle and a wagon for Christmas.
4. Everyone at the party enjoyed the hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips and drinks.
5. Grandma left her umbrella and coat at our house.
--For answers scroll down.
1. students = subject / have studied = verb / subjects, verbs = direct objects
2. man = subject / ate = verb / cake, pie, rolls = direct objects
3. John = subject / wants = verb / bicycle, wagon = direct objects
4. Everyone = subject / enjoyed = verb / hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, drinks = direct objects
5. Grandma = subject / left = verb / umbrella, coat = direct objects