Complements Direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nominative, predicate adjective
Transitive and intransitive verbs There are some verbs that sound incomplete by themselves; they need an object (a noun or pronoun) in order to make them complete. Example: Joe caught (incomplete – he caught what?) Joe caught the ball (complete; the verb “caught” has an object now) The types of verbs that need an object are called transitive verbs. Only ACTIONverbs can be transitive, since linking verbs do not show action and therefore do not need objects to make them complete. Other types of verbs are just fine without an object. These are called intransitive verbs. Joe walked. (Sounds fine … does not need an object) Bottom line: if a verb has an object, it’s transitive. If there is no object, it’s intransitive. Linking verbs are always intransitive.
Direct Objects A direct object is a word or word group that completes the meaning of a transitive verb. Direct objects will always be nouns or pronouns, and they are found by asking “WHAT/WHO?” after the verb. (Note: A direct object will never be in a prepositional phrase, so it’s helpful to cross them out or disregard them before trying to find the direct object.) Felicia invited me to the party. Cross out prepositional phrases to the party Ask WHAT/WHO? me (Felicia invited (WHAT?WHO?) me. A direct object may be compound (more than one) The dog chased Eli and me through the park. through the park ? -> Eli and me
Practice Locate the verb, then ask the questions to find the direct object. I borrowed my parents’ new camera recently. First I loaded the film into the camera. Slowly and carefully I pressed the button. By the end of the day, I had snapped thirty-six pictures. I put all of them in my Facebook photo album. The people on my friend list left fifty-two comments about them! My friend Mark sent me an email about my trip. I did not add Mark as a friend on Facebook. Mark gives me strange vibes. I will get a restraining order against him as soon as possible.
Indirect objects An indirect object say TO/FOR WHOM the direct object is for. Again, remember that an object is a noun or pronoun and that direct objects and indirect objects are only found with ACTION VERBS. RULE #1: Indirect objects will always be located between the verb and the direct object. They will not be located anywhere else! Remember this, and it will save you a whole lot of trouble later on! RULE #2: Indirect objects can only exist with direct objects. If you don’t have a DO, then you will not have an IO. To find the indirect object, first locate the direct object, then ask TO/FOR WHOM? Jon sent me a present. TO/FOR WHOM? -> me (note how “me” is between the verb (sent) and the DO (present)
Indirect Objects, Continued Avoid confusing indirect objects (located between the verb and the direct object) with “fake” objects in a prepositional phrase. Example: I gave the test to the teacher. (Test is your direct object; when you ask to/for whom, you want to say “to the teacher,” but this cannot contain the indirect object because it’s in a prepositional phrase It’s not between the verb and the indirect object
Practice My aunt Linda sent me a present on my birthday. Don Draper made the man an offer of employment. The captain of the ship told the passengers his story of the big hurricane. Mrs. Warrant will give everyone a grade for their work. Could you show Deanna the location of her next class? Buy me a pack of gum, please. My sister gave Brian two hundred dollars to bail her out of jail. Henry did not give his mother any respect. As a result, the judge handed him a sentence of five thousand years in prison. Henry gives his fellow prisoners sentimental greeting cards.
Objective Complements An objective complement is a word or word group that modifies the direct object The objective complement may be a noun, pronoun, or an adjective This is easiest found by asking “What?” after the direct object. The OC will be after the direct object in the majority of cases. Example: The members elected Carlotta secretary. WHAT? secretary The flood had swept the valley clean. WHAT? clean
Subject Complements Subject complements are words that complement the subject. These type of complements are found only with LINKING VERBS. We’ve already dealt with these when we talked about “caveman talk.” The word we were reading with the subject was the subject complement. It complemented the subject. There are two types of subject complements: Predicate nominatives: a noun/pronoun Predicate adjectives: adjective Examples: I am a teacher. (I … teacher) Teacher is your subject complement. It is a PN (predicate nominative) because “teacher” is a noun Josh felt tired. (Josh … tired) Tired is the subject complement. It is a PA (predicate adjective) because it is an adjective
Practice The package from Aunt Janice felt light. I am the one in the picture on the right. The downtown mall appeared especially busy today. The actor sounded excited and confident during the television interview. The actress in the lead is she. 6. These questions seem easier to me than the ones from last time. 7. The singer’s clothing became a symbol for all her fans. 8. Some poems by Edgar Allan Poe are extremely rhythmical. 9. He became unhappy and frustrated with the government’s control of free speech. 10. After the large dinner, I felt very full.