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ESL: Direct Object & Object Pronouns

Today's post will help you understand what is a direct object, what is an object pronoun, and how to use them.


If I asked you, Did you like the movie?, and you'd answer, Yes, I loved, then this article is for you. "Yes, I loved" is missing its direct object. In other words, we need to include whom or what is receiving the action, refer back to the movie which is what you loved. The correct answer would be, Yes, I loved it!


DIRECT OBJECT

First of all, let's remember the most common order of a sentence:

SUBJECT + VERB + OBJECT


Check out these examples:

SUBJECT + VERB + DIRECT OBJECT

I like chocolates.

You bake cakes.

He loves me.

The cat chases a mouse.

We watch the boy.

Vegetarians don't eat meat.


Notice two things:

  1. The subject is doing the action.

  2. The direct object is receiving the action of the verb.


Direct objects answer whom or what:

I like (what) chocolates.

You bake (what) cakes.

He loves (who) me.

The cat chases (what) a mouse.

We watch (what) movies.

Vegetarians don't eat (what) meat.


As you can see, the word that comes after the verb is answering either the question whom or what. Changing the exercise a little bit, think What if instead of using a direct object we would include an object pronoun? In the sentence He loves me, the direct object is me because it answers the question who, and me is a pronoun. Thus, me is an object pronoun.


OBJECT PRONOUNS

Before jumping into object pronouns, what's the difference between subject pronouns and object pronouns? Well, a subject pronoun is doing the action while an object pronoun receives the action of the verb. Carefully check the following information:


SUBJECT PRONOUNS OBJECT PRONOUNS

I me

you you

he him

she her

it it

we us

they them


I want you to now follow the same logic as when using direct objects but replacing them for object pronouns. For example,


SUBJECT PRONOUN + VERB + OBJECT PRONOUN

I like (who) you.

You call (who) me.

He loves (who) her.

It chases (what) it.

We watch (who) him.

They touch it.


Be aware that there are other ways to use object pronouns, like after a preposition (She plays with me.) or in short answers (Tell me!). If you are interested in learning more, let me know and I'll gladly write a post about when to use object pronouns. After reading this post, I hope you realize how important it is to remember to include the direct object or object pronoun.


HOW TO USE THEM

To make sure you understand subject and object pronouns, I've included some online exercises for you to practice:

Would you like to keep reading about how to improve your English? Check out my other posts.


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