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For the following sentence,

It is this which has excited so curious an interest in his life and character.

"so curious" is an indirect object (people is omitted after "curious"), and "an interest in his life and character" is a direct object?

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    There's no indirect object. "So curious an interest in his life and character" is direct object of "excited". It's a noun phrase headed by the noun "interest"
    – BillJ
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:17

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The whole construction "so curious an interest in his life and character" is the direct object. It is a noun phrase in which "so curious" is an adjectival phrase premodifying "interest in his life and character" (it is an interest that is curious); "in his life and character" is a posmodifying element called a prepositional phrase that modifies "interest" further. "In" is the preposition justifying the name "prepositional phrase". "His life and character" is the complement of the preposition.

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  • Then, the "so curious an interest" shouldn't be "a so curious interest"?
    – user16308
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:13
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    @user16308 No, it is correct as is; this is a special construction, that has been discussed in this forum very recently, and I'll try to find the url for you.
    – LPH
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:24
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    @user16308 Here is the link: english.stackexchange.com/q/577657/349876
    – LPH
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:25
  • Thank you for the answer.
    – user16308
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:30
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    One small correction: The predeterminer adjective phrase "so curious" is modifying the whole NP "an interest in his life and character", not just the head word "interest".
    – BillJ
    Nov 13, 2021 at 6:47

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