II. INDIRECT OBJECTS AFTER TRANSITIVE VERBS. 1. MANY verbs take after them a complement which expresses that to which an action tends, or that which receives the action in a secondary or indirect manner.

2. For example : In James gave the book to Charles, the action of giving directly concerns the book, which is the thing given; it also passes on to Charles, who is the recipient of the book. Charles is affected or reached by giving the book; he is, then, an object of the action, but not in so direct a sense as book is ; the first expresses that which is given, the second, that to whom the action of giving is extended: the book is given to Charles. Such objects are called secondary, or remote, or indirect; the last named is the most general in use, and is, for that reason, preferred here.

3. Such objects are always brought into the sentence by the help of a preposition to show the relation of this object to the action ; they are, therefore, in the form of phrases, either simple or complex. The prepositions most commonly used are of, to and for, though others are occasionally found. When the indirect object stands nearest to the verb the preposition is sometimes omitted.

4. An indirect object, then, is generally a phrase expressing that to or for which any thing is, or is done, or that to which an action, state, or quality is directed.

NOTE.—The last term, quality, is added to make the definition com plete at once. For explanation see Lesson XXI.

5. Transitive verbs may take both a direct and an indirect object in the same sentence; or more than one of each kind.


1. What complement do many

verbs take? 2. Illustrate this by an example. 3. How are such objects brought into the sentence ? What prepositions are used.? 4. What is an indirect object ? 5. What objects, and how many, may a transitive verb take after it ?


NOTE. — The nature and uses of this element will be most readily understood from examples. The first set of sentences contain little beside the proposition and objects, that the attention of the student may be fixed on this one point, viz., the relation to the verb expressed by this element, together with the difference, as seen in sentences, between direct and indirect objects.

If it is thought best, let indirect objects be marked by the numeral 4.

One other point is to be carefully noted, viz., whether the sentence contains both these objects, or whether what looks like an indirect object is an adjective modifier of the direct object. SENTENCE. He told me this privately. ANALYSIS :

(to) me, He told this, 3



1. I pay my respects to you. 2. Offer me no bribes. 3. This, also, I declare unto you. 4. He stretched forth his hand to the people. 5. Tito did not care a straw for the result. 6. I will tell him every thing about the matter. 7. He spake of his friend with great kindness. 8. He left this matter to my discretion. 9. I ask this favor of you for all my friends. 10. By this gift, I bound him fast to my ser

vice. 11. The ghost lamented to his son his mother's fall. 12. The fiery count cast defiance at his foe. 13. Both calmly submitted to their fate. 14. We give thanks to God for this succor. 15. Francis I. begrudged his hated rival the glories of the new world. 16. In another letter he alludes with equal ardor to the dawn of freedom. 17. He gave the gold of his praises to persons of fortune. 18. The captain turned a deaf ear to this persuasion. 19. The Swiss won a glorious victory for freedom. 20. Mamma showed me the picture of an old queen in a ruff.




1. As already seen, transitive verbs may be followed by

object, or objects, of both kinds. This is true of the active voice only. Such verbs take the direct object for the subject, and retain the indirect object as such, while the subject of the active voice retains its office of agent or doer by means of a preposition. For example : James gave the book to Charles becomes, in the passive form, The book was given to Charles by James, in which to Charles remains what it was, an indirect objective element.

2. Many intransitive verbs may be followed by an object whose relation to them is shown by a preposition, that is, by an indirect object; as, all consented to this; an accident happened to the king.


3. Certain adjectives, which express active qualities, take after them phrases which denote that to which these qualities tend, that is, again, indirect objects; as, in he is respectful to his parents, the quality expressed by the adjective is not abstract, but is directed to his parents as the objects of its exercise. The predicate in this sentence means precisely what the predicate in this means, viz.: He respects his parents. To state this in another form : the adjective and the preposition express the verbal idea which would be expressed by the verb respects. Other examples are : he is eager for glory, he is ambitious of honor, he is greedy of wealth. 4. The same principle may be extended to some nouns

For example : in my respect for you is great, my respect for you implies that I respect you ; that is, the noun involves a verbal idea, and by the help of a preposition takes after it a word which denotes the object of respect; for you, then, is clearly an indirect objective element, complementary to the noun respect.

5. The principle may be extended one step further, and is applicable to the complement of the neuter or substantive verb to be. For example: in this is nothing to me, this is nothing is the proposition, and to me is logically and most naturally a complement of the copula is; that is, this being nothing is limited by, or directed to, me, as the person to whom the statement is applicable. To me, then, is clearly an indirect objective element after—that is, dependent on—the verb is.

6. To sum up: the indirect object may be the complement (a) of a transitive verb in the active voice ; (6) of a transitive verb in the passive voice; (c) of an intransitive verb; (d) of the neuter verb; (e) of adjectives denoting active qualities; (f) of nouns involving a verbal idea.


1. What complement may a verb in the passive voice take ? Illustrate by an example. 2. Of what else may this element be the complement ? Give examples. 3. Explain how an indirect object may follow an adjective. What kind of adjectives may it follow ? Give examples. 4. To what is this principle further extended ? 5. Show, by an example, how it may be still further extended. 6. Give all the applications of the indirect object.


Analyze, as before, the sentences which follow, carefully noting to what the indirect objects are joined, and whether the phrases which look like such are really such.


1. Similar things happened to others. 2. Such play is destructive to shoes. 3. A new world was opened to him. 4. His anxiety for his friend was untiring. 5. The old man was never generous for nothing. 6. Some of the men were assigned to household work. 7. No element was wanting in them for great achievements. 8. Be careful for nothing. 9. To me this is a new idea. 10. His love for his country overcame all temptations. 11. In justice to you I cannot do it. 12. The plan seemed to Washington full of danger. 13. This must be a final answer for all. 14. The fact is obvious to any observer. 15. He grew weary of the world. 16. To his promise just, Vich Alpine has discharged his trust. 17. The assembled Indians, with great reverence for their deity, pretended great contentment at this assurance. 18. The scene is familiar to many a tourist. 19. The king, still ob« sequious to Spain, looked on him coldly. 20. Tears are the tributes of kind hearts to misfortune. 21. In esteeming the benefaction, we are grateful to the benefactor.

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