Key Takeaways

Key PointsThe topic of a sentence completes the action of the sentence.The straight object of the sentence receives the action of the sentence.The indirect object of the sentence answers the question “to whom/what?” or “for whom/what?” for the activity of the sentence.For sentences in active voice, the subject comes prior to the verb.For sentences in passive voice, the subject comes after the verb.Key Termsobject noun: Receives the action in a sentence or answers the question “to whom/what?” or “for whom/what?”subject noun: Completes the action(s) in a sentence.

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Nouns deserve to take on 2 different functions in a sentence: they deserve to be subjects or objects. Understanding subjects and also objects simply suggests knowledge who (or what) perdeveloped an activity, and also who (or what) was affected by that activity.

Identifying Subjects

In a sentence, the topic completes the activity. The topics are italicized in the examples below:

Mary drew a photo for her mommy.Lions eat many kind of pets, such as rabbits.

The subject does not have to be a perchild or animal—it deserve to also be an inanimate object:

The coffee let off heavy steam.The cup is on the table.

Keep in mind that the subject contains not just the noun, but also the post (e.g., the, a, an) that goes in addition to it.

Identifying Objects

An object is the recipient of an activity. There are two kinds of object: straight and indirect.

Direct Objects

In a sentence, the straight object receives the action of the subject. See the italicized straight objects in the examples below:

Mary drew a picture.The tiger chased the bunny.

Instraight Objects

In a sentence, the indirect object answers the question “to whom or what?” or “for whom or what?” See the italicized instraight objects in the examples listed below.

Mary drew a photo for her mother.Bill threw the ball to his sister.
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Sign: In this sign saying “Do not feed the coyotes”, are coyotes the topic, the object, or the indirect object? (Answer: They are the straight object.)


Identifying Indirect Objects without a Preposition

Sometimes straight object and instraight object cannot be figured out by word order alone—and also tright here is not constantly a “to” or “for” to make it clear:

The boy fed the dog a bone.

To effectively determine the instraight object, ask yourself which part of the sentence would certainly answer the question “to/for whom or what?”

“The boy fed a bone to the dog.”

Phrased this method, it becomes clear that the dog is the indirect object and also the bone is the straight object.

Identifying Subject and also Object inthe Active Voice

If a sentence is created in the energetic voice, it implies that the topic comes prior to the verb, and the object follows the verb. All of the examples above are composed in the energetic voice.

A basic method to determine whether a noun is a subject or a things in an active-voice sentence is to note wright here it is in the sentence. If the noun comes before the verb, it is the subject. If it complies with the verb, it is the object. See the examples below:

The alien landed the spaceship. (“The alien” is the topic and “the spaceship” is the straight object.)Mathilda ate the sandwich. (“Mathilda” is the topic and also “the sandwich” is the straight object.)

Identifying Subject and also Object in the Passive Voice

In passive-voice sentences, the usual rules carry out not use. Rather, we should look at word order to uncover the subject and also object. In a passive-voice sentence, store in mind that the order will certainly be subject–verb phrase–object. See the following examples.

The sandwich was consumed by Mathilda. (“The sandwich” is the topic and “Mathilda” is the object.)The spaceship was steered by the alien. (“The spaceship” is the topic and “the alien” is the object.)

In the passive voice, a noun coming after the word “by” is a things, while a noun coming prior to a form of the verb “to be” (e.g., “was”) is the subject. Note the italicized words in the examples over.

Verb Types and also Objects

Not all verbs need objects. A verb that needs an object is called a transitive verb:

She desires cake.

Without the object “cake,” the sentence is incomplete and also doesn’t make feeling. What does she want?

A verb that does not call for an object is dubbed an intransitive verb:

I slept.

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With an intransitive verb, the sentence is complete with the subject and verb alone.