The indirect object is the noun or pronoun that receives the direct object.
Typically, an indirect object precedes the direct object and can be found by asking who or what received the direct object.
[In the following examples, the indirect object is bold and the direct object is underlined.]
If you would like, we can give Martha the tickets to tonight’s game.
- To determine the indirect object, ask who or what received the direct object.
Emil sent his brother a postcard from the hotel.
- Emil did not send his brother. He sent a postcard to his brother. The noun receiving the direct object is the indirect object.
Did the students give their teacher the assignment?
- Look for the object that receives the action of the verb and then who or what receives that object.
After class, Randall will give the students their papers.
- Once you identify the verb, ask whether the verb was done to someone or something. For example: Will Randall give someone or something? Yes, he will give papers. To whom will he give them? Students. Students is the indirect object.
Can you write the clerk a check for the groceries?
- Identify the subject, find the verb the subject is engaged in, determine if it is an action verb, ask who or what is receiving the action and then ask who or what is receiving that object.