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Would anybody please explain the difference between these?

A government whose object is good for people.

A government whose objective is good for people.

Is there a difference between these two words when they are used as a noun?

These definitions and citations come from the Longman Dictionary, but I can not yet understand the difference between object and objective at such situations. I am so confused yet.

Object: AIM( the purpose of a plan, action, or activity.

Object: the purpose of an action or event.

Objective: the thing that you are working towards and hope to achieve by the end of a course of action.

The object of the game is to score as many points as possible.
Nobody knows the real object of their visit. They are keeping it a secret.
The object of the game is to improve children's math skill.

Longman also says

Do not use object to mean 'the thing you are working towards and hope to achieve'. Use objective: We have not yet achieved our objective (NOT our object).

That appears to mean:

My object is to improve my English as much as possible. (This one is wrong)
My objective is to improve my English as much as possible. (This one is right)

Is my reading correct?

  • Incidentally, the object or objective of government is not 'good for people' - that means, approximately, "healthy or beneficial for them" - but the good of the people. – StoneyB Apr 27 '14 at 16:47
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SHORT ANSWER:
In this context the two words mean exactly the same thing. Both are acceptable.

The distinction Longman's draws is difficult to understand; if it means what it appears to mean, it's wrong. I think you may ignore it.

LONGER ANSWER:
What Longman's says is this:

2 AIM [singular] the purpose of a plan, action, or activity [↪ goal, aim]
object of

The object of the game is to improve children's math skills.
My object was to explain the decision simply.
The customer will benefit most, and that is the object of the exercise (=the purpose of what you are doing).

! Do not use object to mean 'the thing you are working towards and hope to achieve'. Use objective: We have not yet achieved our objective (NOT our object).

I cannot understand this distinction. It does not reflect actual use of the two words, either now or in the past.

The distinction which is drawn in use is exactly the opposite:

  • Object is used both for purposes and for the person or thing which receives an action - the Direct Object of a verb:

    okHis object is to win Mary's love. ... The purpose of his actions is to win Mary's love.
    okMary is the object of his love. ... =He loves Mary. Mary is the person towards whom he directs his love, the person for whom he feels love.

  • But objective is used only to name purposes. It is not used to name the person or thing which receives an action.

    okHis objective is to win Mary's love. ... The purpose of his actions is to win Mary's love.
    Mary is the objective of his love. ... This is not acceptable.

So Longman's is wrong. Both of these are correct:

okMy object is to improve my English as much as possible.
okMy objective is to improve my English as much as possible.

But only one of these is correct, the one with object:

okThe object of my study is English. ... =I study English. What I study is English.
The objective of my study is English. ... This is not acceptable.

  • I am so confused yet. – nima Apr 27 '14 at 15:28
  • @nima_persian Is this any clearer? – StoneyB Apr 27 '14 at 16:06
  • Would you took a look athttp://english.stackexchange.com/questions/168145/would-you-tell-me-the-difference-between-object-and-objective-as-a-noun/168738#168738 – nima May 9 '14 at 7:10
  • @nima_persian The best answer you've got there is John Lawler's comment immediately below your question. Longman's distinction is artificial and is not followed in practice. – StoneyB May 9 '14 at 10:40

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