indirect object


The IO (or “indirect object”) well be found between the verb and the DO. If there is no DO, then there can be no IO. The IO can be found by asking “to whom” or “for whom”.

Jeb built Joe a house.

Here are the analytical questions to ask:

  1. The verb is “built”. Who is doing the building? Jeb is doing the building. Therefore, “Jeb” is the subject.
  2. Jeb built what? Jeb built a house. Hence, “house” is the DO.
  3. Jeb built the house “for whom”? For “Joe”. So “Joe” is the IO.

Other examples:

Jeb gave Fred a punch in the face.

Fred sent Jeb a free ticket to the game.


An IO will be in the dative case. (BBG 7.6)


A noun functioning as an IO will have a lamed preposition.

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