How to place Direct and Indirect Objects in Declarative sentence

In declarative sentences, objects can be either direct or indirect, and their placement within the sentence structure depends on the type of object.


Direct Object (Od)

A direct object is the noun or pronoun that receives the action of the verb directly.

It answers the question what? whom? how many/much? which? after the verb.

Direct objects typically follow the verb without the need for a preposition.

Example: She read a book.

(The direct object book receives the action of the verb read.)





Indirect Object (Oi):

In English grammar, the indirect object often appears with a prepositional paraphrase, especially when the sentence includes a direct object. The prepositional paraphrase typically uses the preposition to or for to indicate the recipient or beneficiary of the action.


 Main situations in which a prepositional paraphrase

is  commonly used with an indirect object:


Giving or Providing:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: She gave him a present.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: She gave a present to him.



Sending or Showing Direction:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: She sent her a letter.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: She sent a letter to her.




Informing or Reporting:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: He told me the news.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: He told the news to me.



Promising or Offering:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: He promised her assistance.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: He promised assistance to her.




Passing or Handing Over:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: They handed us the keys.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: They handed the keys to us.




Expressing Concern or Interest:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: They showed him great care.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: They showed great care to him.




Bringing Attention or Awareness:

Without Prepositional Paraphrase: She explained them the concept.

With Prepositional Paraphrase: She explained the concept to them.



It’s important to note that in many cases, the prepositional paraphrase is optional, and the preposition can often be omitted in less formal or spoken English. The choice may depend on the desired emphasis, style, or formality of the sentence.





Placement of Direct (Od) and Indirect Objects (Oi):

In simple sentences with both a direct and indirect object, the typical order is

subject – verb – indirect object – direct object.

Example: She gave him a book.

(Subject: She, Verb: gave, Indirect Object: him, Direct Object: book)


When there’s only a direct object, it directly follows the verb.

Example: They found a treasure.

(Subject: They, Verb: found, Direct Object: treasure)


When there’s only an indirect object, it can also follow the verb directly.

Example: I bought my sister a gift.

(Subject: I, Verb: bought, Indirect Object: sister)


Note: While this structure is common, it’s essential to consider that more complex sentences or variations in sentence structure may alter the placement of objects.


Understanding the placement of direct and indirect objects in declarative sentences enhances the clarity and effectiveness of communication, allowing for a precise conveyance of actions and recipients.










Direct/Indirect Objects in Declarative Sentence

Declarative Sentence in English Grammar

Independent Elements

Parallelism in English Grammar

What is The Object of a Sentence?