5.1.5 Summary

The thing with direct / indirect and possessed object is that in doubt it's hard to know which is which. Of course, the possessed object is easy to recognize. It is the one formed with of. The indirect object is the one mostly formed with to. Then the last one is the direct object.

However, if you feel this explanation to be too difficult and the questions (who, whom, to whom, whose) not helpful, there is still another way to classify and recognize the class of objects - by verbs. There are three classes of verbs:

NOTE
  Verbs that have no object:
to swim
to sleep
I swim
you sleep
  Verbs that have one object
  to eat
to see
she eats cake
they see the car
  Verbs that have two objects
  to give
to sell
we give the car to him
you sell the house to Peter

Knowing this you can find the following rules much more simple:

NOTE
Is there a verb with only one object, it is the direct object
  to eat
to see
she eats cake
they see the car
cake = direct object (accusative)
car = direct object (accusative)
  Is there a verb with two objects, then the living (person or animal) is the indirect object (dative), the thing is the direct object (accusative)
  to give
to sell
we give the car to him
you sell the house to Peter
to him = indirect object (dative); the car = direct object (accusative)
to Peter = indirect object (dative), the house = direct object (acc.)
There are exceptions to this rule, but you can always exchange the parts to get back to these basics. There are also possibilities in English to change the positions of the objects and have an indirect object without the preposition to. However, also in these cases you can check which of the objects is living. In addition, you can always exchange things to the person, if you are unsure. And, if this is possible you are back to above basics.






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