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Verbs with 2 objects – Word order

Word order in English sentences with two objects

Some verbs have two objects –an indirect object and a direct object.

1. If there are two objects in a sentence, the normal word order is person → thing:

Subject Verb Indirect Object Direct Object
gave my mother some flowers.
I sent Susan an email.
He cooked his friends a meal.

2. We can use to or for with an indirect object if we want to place it next to the verb:

Subject Verb Direct Object Indirect Object
gave some flowers to my mother.
I sent an email to Susan.
He cooked a meal for his friends.

3. If the indirect object is a pronoun we normally put it after the verb:

Subject Verb Indirect Object Direct Object
gave her some flowers.
I sent her an email.
He cooked them a meal.

4. Common verbs with for and an indirect object are:

  • book
  • buy
  • get
  • cook
  • keep
  • bring
  • make
  • pour
  • save
  • find

5. Common verbs with to and an indirect object are:

  • give
  • lend
  • offer
  • pass
  • post
  • read
  • sell
  • send
  • show
  • promise
  • tell