Passives: Verbs with two objects

Many verbs can be followed by two objects – an indirect object and a direct object. The indirect object usually refers to a person and the direct object usually refers to a thing. Two structures are possible.

  • She gave me (indirect object) a nice gift (direct object).
  • She gave a nice gift (direct object) to me (indirect object).

Both these structures can be made passive.

  • I was given a nice gift (by her). (Indirect object becomes subject.)
  • A nice gift was given to me (by her). (Direct object becomes subject.)

Another example is given below.

  • They lent me (indirect object) ten thousands pounds (direct object).
  • They lent ten thousand pounds to me.
  • I was lent ten thousand pounds. (passive)
  • Ten thousand pounds were lent to me. (passive)

Common verbs that are followed by two objects include give, send, show, lend, pay, promise, refuse, tell and offer.

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