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Active Sentences with Two Objects made Passive

Two objects in an active sentences – two possible passive sentences

Some verbs such as: ask, give, offer, teach, tell, lend, promise, sell, throw, can have two objects.

When there are two objects in an active sentence then there are two possible active sentences and two possible passive sentences.

  • Sentence 1: Peter gave Susan a flower
  • Sentence 2: Peter gave a flower to Susan.

There are two objects in each of the following sentences:

  • Object 1 = indirect object → Susan
  • Object 2 = direct object → a flower

An indirect object is very often a person, a direct object a thing. When a direct object is followed by an indirect one, we put to in front of the indirect object.

Active sentence 1

Subject Verb indirect Object direct Object
Peter gave Susan a flower.

Active sentence 2

Subject Verb direct Object indirect Object with to
Peter gave a flower to Susan.

Each of the objects (flower/Susan) in the active sentences can become subject in the passive sentence.

Passive sentence 1

Subject Verb Object (by-agent)
Susan was given a flower. (by Peter).

Passive sentence 2

Subject Verb Object (by-agent)
A flower was given to Susan (by Peter).