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  1. The principal gave Martha an award.
  2. The principal gave an award to Martha.

Many grammar sites (e.g. www.k12reader.com) say that Martha in the first sentence is an Indirect Object and Martha in the second sentence is an object of preposition.

If it is so, to Martha in the second sentence is a prepositional phrase. Then, my question is: what function does this prepositional phrase do in the sentence?

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    It is a complement of the verb gave: its function is identical to Martha in the first sentence. I would still call it an indirect object.
    – Colin Fine
    May 16 '20 at 7:48
  • @ColinFine, do you mean it takes a double role - the Indirect Object of the verb gave and the object of the preposition to? May 16 '20 at 8:02
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    In your second example the preposition phrase "to Martha" functions not as indirect object but as complement of "gave".
    – BillJ
    May 16 '20 at 11:14
  • @BillJ thank you. If you post it as an answer, I will accept it. May 16 '20 at 11:20
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[1] The principal gave Martha an award.

[2] The principal gave an award to Martha.

In [1] "Martha" is related directly to the verb "gave" and thus is the indirect object.

But in [2] "Martha" is related to the verb only indirectly, via the preposition "to", and thus is not an indirect object of the verb, but the object of the preposition "to". The PP "to Martha" functions as complement of "gave".

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