The indirect object of a sentence in English is the recipient of the direct object. The direct object is the thing being acted on by the verb.
See the example below:
He gave the pirate a chance
Indirect Objects can be used in several ways.
Give some money to John.
(“John” is the indirect object. He is the recipient of the direct object “money“)
Give some money to him.
Give it to John.
Give it to him.
Give John some money.
Give him some money.
Give John it. (not common)
Give him it. (not common)
(In some very informal situations, you may hear people use this one.
Example: Angry mother to child: Give me it right now!!)
Note the following:
|Lend me some money.||Lend some money to me.|
|Bring me a cup of coffee.||Bring a cup of coffee to me.|
|Get me a cup of coffee.||Get a cup of coffee for me.|
|Make me a cup of coffee.||Make a cup of coffee for me.|
|Ask him a question.||Ask a question of him.|
|Tell her a story.||Tell a story to her.|
Direct Object and Indirect Object Patterns
|Pattern A||Pattern B||Pattern C|
|I gave him an apple.||I gave an apple to him.|
|I bought her a car.||I bought a car for her.|
|I asked him a question.||I explained it to him.||I opened the door for her.|
Pattern A and B
write, read, show, teach, tell, sell, send, lend, bring, take, pass, give
Pattern A and C
buy, get, make, find, do, bake, cash, save
Pattern A only
ask, cost, charge, wish
Pattern B only
explain, announce, describe, introduce, mention, prove, repeat, say, speak, report
(When used with for, has the meaning of “on behalf of”)
Pattern C only
open, answer, close, change, pronounce, prescribe
None of the patterns
eat, sleep, talk, walk, and most other verbs