It's a very simple question actually, but someone asked this to me suddenly and I got confused

He lent me a book.

In this sentence, is the object book (the thing being lent) or me (the one who is being lent the book)?

How can we determine the object in this sentence?


2 Answers 2


Lend is a ditransitive verb, which means it takes two objects, a direct and and indirect object.

The direct object is the "standard" object that you know from other transitive verbs: it's who or what the action happens to.

The indirect object is who or what the action that happens to the direct object happens to.

The book is being lent, so the book is the direct object. Me is who the book is lent to, so me is the indirect object.

Lent is the verb, and he is the subject, but I guess you had figured that out yourself.

  • if a beginner, who probably won't understand the concept of ditransitive asks what the object of this sentence is, would it be ok to tell them the object is "book" ?
    – user13267
    Nov 15, 2015 at 17:40
  • Is there a simpler way to explain this, or ther example sentences, preferably in simple present tense?
    – user13267
    Nov 15, 2015 at 17:40
  • @user13267: the answer is: there are two objects. Whether you want to explain the difference between direct and indirect object is up to you :)
    – oerkelens
    Nov 16, 2015 at 11:04

Some verbs can have two objects, such as to give, to offer, to lent, to promise etc. The thing given is called direct object, the person something is given to is called indirect object.


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