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Using Nouns and Noun Phrases as Direct Objects

Using Nouns and Noun Phrases as Direct Objects

Nouns have traditionally been defined as words for people, places, things, and ideas. A noun phrase consists of a noun plus any modifiers, complements, and determiners that provide more information about the noun. Pronouns, which are a subcategory of nouns, are words that take the place of nouns and noun phrases.

In grammar, a direct object is a word, phrase, or clause that follows and receives the action of a transitive verb. Nouns, pronouns, and noun phrases most frequently function as direct objects in English grammar. Examples of nouns including pronouns and noun phrases as direct objects include the following:

  • My rabbit eats carrots. (noun)
  • Some dogs despise men. (noun)
  • The committee elected no one. (pronoun)
  • She loves him. (pronoun)
  • The hurricane destroyed the extremely tall building next to the ancient bowling alley. (noun phrase)
  • That man likes women who bake pies and enjoy rock climbing. (noun phrase)

Noun Phrase as Direct Object

Noun Phrase as Direct Object

Pronoun as Direct Object

Pronoun as Direct Object

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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