Indirect Objects

Indirect Objects can be used in several ways.

Give some money to John.

Give some money to him.

Give it to John.

Give it to him.

Give John some money.

Give him some money.

Give John it. (not common)

Give him it. (not common)

(In some very informal situations, you may hear people use this one.

    Example: angry mother to child: Give me it right now!!)

Note the following:

    Lend me some money.

    Bring me a cup of coffee.

    Get me a cup of coffee.

    Make me a cup of coffee.

    Ask him a question.

    Tell her a story.

    Lend some money to me.

    Bring a cup of coffee to me.

    Get a cup of coffee for me.

    Make a cup of coffee for me.

    Ask a question of him.

    Tell a story to her.

Direct Object and Indirect Object Patterns

Pattern A

I gave him an apple.

I bought her a car.

I asked him a question.
Pattern B

I gave an apple to him.

I explained it to him.

Pattern C

I bought a car for her.

I opened the door for her.

Pattern A and B

write, read, show, teach, tell, sell, send, lend, bring, take, pass, give

Pattern A and C

buy, get, make, find, do, bake, cash, save

Pattern A only

ask, cost, charge, wish

Pattern B only

explain, announce, describe, introduce, mention, prove, repeat, say, speak, report

(When used with for, has the meaning of “on behalf of”)

Pattern C only

open, answer, close, change, pronounce, prescribe

All patterns


None of the patterns

eat, sleep, talk, walk, and most other verbs