Indirect Object (definition)
An 'indirect object' (also referred to as 'secondary object') appears in the environment of a ditransitive verb, where the 'indirect object' is the first noun phrase after the verb (when there are two NPs) or an obligatory prepositional phrase . Indirect objects typically express goals and locations for verbs that define a caused change or location or movement, or express a benefactor. For example, the in the following sentences the indirect object is bold faced.
- . Tako gave Zelda the cake
- . Tako gave the cake to Zelda
- . Calvin put it on the dresser
- . Dave bought Melissa the flowers
- . Dave bought the flowers for Melissa
Interestingly in Scottish Gaelic,the sentence types in (1) and (5), where the 'indirect object' precedes the direct object is not grammatical as in (6)-(7).
- SIL entry on indirect object
- Carnie, Andrew (2006) Syntax: A Generative Introduction, Malden: Wiley Blackwell.