I have learnt about the Direct and indirect objects. Direct object receives the action, and we identify it by asking a question 'whom' to verb. Suppose we have given two sentences:

  1. I gave Rohan an amazing book.
  2. She gifted me a car on my birthday.

So, in the first sentence, the direct object is Rohan, because he receives the action; while in the second sentence, the direct object is me, with the same logic.

Am I right?

Any guidance would be highly appreciated.Thank you!

  • 1
    Where did you learn that rule? It doesn't sound correct at all.
    – siride
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 21:55
  • I have learnt it from YouTube.The name of the channel is : English with Ashish.
    – Vulch
    Commented Dec 3, 2022 at 21:56
  • What was given? A book. That is the direct object. The book "received the action" of the verb give. I gave what? I gave a book. I gave a book to Rohan. I gave Rohan a book. Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 4:35

2 Answers 2


No, I do not agree with the way you hve parsed this. To my mind in the first example the direct object is an amazing book, while Rohan is an indirect object - in Latin, it would be the dative case of the noun which would apply.

In the second example, similarly I belive the direct object is car, while me is the dative indirect, while on my birthday is an adverbial clause.

Verbs which produce both direct and indirect objects in this way are known as ditransitives. You will find them discussed on EL & U.

  • 1
    You can say it with confidence: the direct objects are the book and the car because they directly receive the action of "give" and "gift". "Rohan" and "me" are the recipient of the gift, but not of the action. Nobody gives those two people to anybody.
    – gotube
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 0:35

Unfortunately it is not easy to describe in words what a direct object is. I don't have a much better definition to offer of what a direct object is than that it "receives the action" of the verb, but I also don't think that this is necessarily a very good description of a direct object, and I think that description can lead to confusion. When someone says that a direct object "receives the action" of the verb, they mean that the action of the verb is done to the direct object, or in other words, that action is performed on the direct object.

Your particular examples might be a little bit extra confusing because they involve gifts. What happens to a gift? Someone receives it. But that doesn't mean that the person "receives" the action of the verb in a grammatical sense, they are only receiving the result or benefit of the giving (as an indirect object). The act of giving is being carried out on the gift.

So, the verb in the first sentence is "gave". When someone says the direct object "receives" that action, they mean it is the person or thing being acted upon during the act of giving (in this case the book). Rohan received the book, but he didn't receive the action of someone giving him to someone -- that action was not performed on him.

  • Winston Churchill once said that democracy is the worst form of government there is, except for all the others - which was a humorous way to say that you would not choose that form of government because you are impressed with how well it works, only because all the other choices have even more problems. I think that saying that the direct object "receives the action of the verb" may be the worst description of a direct object that there is, except for all the others.
    – BobH
    Commented Dec 4, 2022 at 7:49

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