Today we discuss sentence structure, along with one of the Scribe’s favorite sentence elements, objects (direct and indirect). This topic was necessitated by last week’s dismal showing by the Scribe in the Yoda v. Scribe voting—where the readers picked Yoda’s poor sentence structure over the grammatically pure revised sentences offered by the Scribe. Clearly, Yoda’s celebrity status clouded your better judgment.
We begin with sentence structure. The basic elements of a simple English sentence are subject, verb, and object. The subject and object are usually nouns (but sometimes pronouns), and the verb usually follows the subject and identifies an action or a state of being. An object receives the action and usually follows the verb. So the basic structure for most simple sentences is subject-verb-object, e.g., “The Scribe loves baseball.” Other simple sentence structures include subject-verb sentences (“Yoda won.”) and subject-verb-adjective sentences (“Yoda is short.”).
Now let’s talk about objects.
There are two types of objects: direct and indirect. A direct object is a noun or pronoun (a pronoun substitutes for a noun, e.g., she, he, they) that receives the verb’s action or shows the result of an action. Usually, a direct object follows the verb and can be identified by asking who or what received the verb’s action, e.g.,
- Luke Skywalker destroyed the Death Star.
- After his failure, Captain Needa apologized to Lord Vader.
- The judge granted the motion.
- Tom bought a Ferrari.
The rarer form of object is the indirect object—which is a noun or pronoun that describes who is receiving the direct object. For an indirect object to exist, there must be a direct object. (Think of indirect objects as the cheese to the direct object’s macaroni.) An indirect object usually precedes the direct object, is usually found with verbs of “giving” or “communicating” (such as give, bring, tell, show, take, offer), and can be identified by asking who or what received the direct object, e.g.,
- Obi-Wan gave Luke a lightsaber.
- Megan showed him the motion.
- Tom bought Stephen a Ferrari.
That is all for now …