Grammar: Objective Elements  objective element direct object
An object in a sentence is a word or a group of words which completes the meaning of an action verb by receiving the action.

There's more to it than this, but for now, it can't hurt to know that
only action verbs take objects.

Objective Elements

From A New English Grammar for Schools, by Thomas Harvey:

I loved.
Add a word naming what you loved. What is the verb in this sentence?
Pamela told me.
What is the subject? What is the verb? What word completes the meaning of the verb, by receiving the action?

1. An objective element 

is a word or a group of words which completes the meaning of an action verb by naming what receives the action expressed by the verb.

subject + verb + who? OR what?

To identify an object completing an action, repeat the subject and verb, and then ask who? or what?  

I loved who? I loved what?
I loved you.

Pamela told who? Pamela told what?
Pamela told me.

2. One way to analyze a sentence is to draw a picture of it.

a. In the following diagrams,

the subject, the predicate, and the copula of each principal proposition are placed above a horizontal base line.
The subject is separated from the predicate or from the copula by a vertical line drawn across this base line.
The copula is separated from the predicate by a colon.
My car is outside. This is goodbye. The man turned.
My car is : outside This is : goodbye The man turned

Remember that
only action verbs take objects.

“Outside” and “goodbye” in the diagrammed sentences above are describing and renaming elements. They are not objects, because objective elements only follow action verbs and must answer the question who? or what?

b. To diagram a direct object,

The object and the term which it modifies are separated by a vertical line drawn to the horizontal line below them.
I wanted no puppet.

I wanted | no puppet


1. Write ten sentences, each containing an objective element.

Ex. — Indians hunted buffaloes.

2. Analyze the sentences you have written, using this model:

Children love play.
“Children” is the subject (why?); love play” the predicate (why?); the action verb “love is modified by play,” an objective element.

3. Analyze also the following sentences by speaking of each element, then diagram them:

Ex. — Clouds bring rain.
The noun “clouds” is the subject because it is that which is spoken about; bring rain,” the predicate because it is what is being said about the subject; the action verb bring” is modified by “rain,” an objective element.
Clouds bring | rain
1. Heat melts lead.
2. Men love money.
3. I study botany.
4. Haste makes waste.
5. Cats catch mice.
6. Mr. Jones sells cars.

4. Select the subjects, the copulas, the predicates and the objects from the following sentences. Select also the nouns and verbs, telling how each is used. 

1. Mind is the great lever of all things.
2. Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint.
3. The whole life of man is but a point of time.
4. Birds in their little nests agree.
5. Six feet of earth make all men equal.
6. A man without hope is of no good use to the world.
7. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
8. The truth shall make you free.
9. He was a burning and a shining light.
10. The laborer is worthy of his hire.
11. A prophet is not without honor save in his own country and in his own house.
12. Man shall not live by bread alone.
13. The winds and waves are always on the side of the ablest navigator.
14. The days of peace and slumberous calm are fled.
15. The rich man’s son inherits land, and piles of brick and stone, and gold.
16. The sound of the war whoop broke the stillness of the night.

Did I tell you?
Only action verbs take objects.

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