To be honest I didn't know where to post such question... since it is English related I'm posting it here.

Lately I've been watching several videos about sentence structure in English, and I have a question. In the sentence structure S-V-O (subject verb complement) I've been told there are two kinds of complements in the english language, Direct Object and Indirect Object. Such complements usually answer to the question "whom" and "what". However in Italian for example there are many more complements, a full list is here.

My questions is if are there equivalents for each of those complements in English or each one of those complements can be built using the two complements of the English language.

1 Answer 1


If you look at the article you quoted, you will see that it offers examples of different types of Italian complement, and translations of them into English.

Looking at the English versions, it is easy to see that what's different in each type is a prepositional phrase (by the soldiers, of patience, with yogurt, etc). Some people call these prepositional complements, though the term is apparently frowned on.

One exception is si ricordare which is not reflexive in English, so us is the direct object of remember.

So, English does have the same structures, but we use different terms to describe them. Note that the term complement covers a wider range of things than you suggested: see this for more information.

  • Hi, I haven't looked up this question I made in ages, and I completely forgot about it. In summary what in italian is a complement in english is mostly a "preopositional phrase", is that right? Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 14:29
  • Yes, that's about it.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jun 18, 2017 at 7:14

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