In the sentence

I let him take the pen.

are the following mentioned functions correct?

I = subject
let = main verb
him = indirect Object
take = the second verb (bare infinitive)
the pen = Direct Object

2 Answers 2


I = main subject.

let = main verb.

him = direct object of let, and subject of take.

take = subordinate verb. It's infinitive because its subject is a direct object.

the pen = direct object of subordinate verb.

  • What's called as an infinitive? to + base form? Some books state that infinitive is to + base form or just base form.
    – Schwale
    Jun 23, 2016 at 22:57
  • @Ustanak Different people use slightly different terminologies. Broadly speaking, infinitive means both forms; bare infinitive means the base form; and to-infinitive means the form preceded by to. See Wikipedia. The form alone doesn't make it an infinitive, though. It has to play a role where it doesn't agree in person and number with its subject, because it doesn't assert anything (by itself).
    – Ben Kovitz
    Jun 23, 2016 at 23:32
  • I wouldn't go along with that. "Him" is the grammatical object of "let", but it is only the semantic subject of "take". The subordinate clause "take the pen" is subjectless like most non-finite clauses are, though the subject is understood as "him".
    – BillJ
    Jun 24, 2016 at 9:20

If my memory serves me well, let is a transitive verb, "him" is a direct object.

  • I'm not sure about the function of the secondary verb. ''Second verb'', as franky says, is not very accurate.
    – Archa
    Jun 23, 2016 at 22:09

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .