When a noun (or pronoun) is used as the object of a verb is called an object.
Generally, an object comes after a verb.
He wrote a letter.
What did he write? a letter
So, a letter is the object of the verb wrote.
He helped me.
Whom did he help? 'me' is the object of the verb helped.
Position of the object:
A noun denoting the object to a verb is usually placed after the verb to which it belongs. But when the object is a relative or interrogative pronoun, or when the emphasis is given on the noun used as an object, the object is placed not after, but before the verb.
The woman whom I saw yesterday has come back today.
Interrogative: What do you say? Whom were you looking for?
Emphasis: Silver and gold have none.
Forms of the Object
Most transitive verbs take a single object. The object to a verb may be expressed in different forms. The main forms of the object are as follows:
(a) Noun: The man killed a snake.
(b) Pronoun: The man left me.
(c) Infinitive: He desires to help me.
(d) Gerund: He disliked sleeping in the daytime.
(e) Phrase: He does not know how to swim.
(f) Clause: They do not know who has come.
The Double Object
Some transitive verbs take two objects after them. One of them is usually the name of something and the other is some persons or other animals. Jamal gave Jamil a pen.
In the above sentence, we are told that Jamil was the person to whom Jamal gave a pen. So, the noun Jamil is the indirect object and the pen is the direct object.
We know that the position of the indirect object is just after the verb and before the direct object. An indirect object denotes the person and a direct object denotes a thing.
Note: Another way of distinguishing the two objects is by observing that the Indirect object always stands first. If the indirect object comes after the direct object, it must be preceded by the preposition "for" or "to". Example: Jamal gave a ball to Jamil.
Indirect object of the active verb
Active: He gave me a shirt. indirect
direct Passive: I was given a shirt by him.
The direct object of the active verb
Active: He gave me a shirt. indirect
direct Passive: A shirt was given to me by him.
Sometimes an intransitive verb may be followed by a noun already implied more or less in the verb itself is called a cognate object. He lived a long life. They fought a good fight. He dreamt a good dream. She sang a good song. I slept a sound sleep.
When an object of a transitive verb refers to the same person or thing as denoted by the subject of the verb is called a reflexive object.
The subject's reflexive pronoun will be the same person or thing.
Reflexive object :
Myself, ourselves, yourself, yourselves, itself, themselves, himself, herself
Formation of Reflexive Object
Reflexive Objects are formed by adding self to my, your, him, her, it and selves to our your them
My + self = myself
Your + self = yourself
Him + self = himself
Her + self = herself
It + self = itself
Our + selves = ourselves
Your + selves = yourselves
Them + selves = themselves
Note: In case of changing from active to passive reflexive object remains as an object. It cannot be used as the subject of the passive voice.
Active: She fans herself.
Passive: She is fanned by herself.
Active: He killed himself.
Passive: He was killed by himself.
The transitive verbs select, elect, nominate, make, call, a name cannot give full meaning despite having an object.
To give full meaning some more objects are added to the objects. These kinds of objects are called Factitive Objects.
Active: They made him president.
Passive: He was made president by them.
Note: The factitive object cannot be the subject of the passive voice. It remains as an object in the sentence.
Everybody called him a liar.
Adverbial Object :
Sometimes the nouns or the noun-equivalents which cannot be the object of a verb or a preposition are used as objects and modifies the verb like adverb is called an Adverbial object.
I shall go home.
Complementary Object :
Despite having some objects some verbs cannot give full meaning. In that case, a noun is used after to be. The noun which is used after to be is called complementary object.
Example: We know him to be a poet.
Note: A complementary object cannot be the subject of passive voice.