In the statement "I gave a book to Marc." Is "Marc" the indirect object or the object of the preposition "to"?
The question comes up because many statements involving the preposition "to" can be rewritten as follows:
I gave Marc the book.
In this sense, "Marc" appears to be the indirect object, or is it still the object of the preposition "to", though the preposition is unspoken?
Whatever answers the question "to whom" will generally be the indirect object.
If you can move what comes after the "to" to the position before the direct object (I gave the book to Marc --> I gave Marc the book) then it's the indirect object.
Compare it to I put the book on the table. You can't say "I put the table the book." So the table cannot the indirect object. Instead the table is the object of the preposition.
Does that help?
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In the statement "I gave a book to Marc." Is "Marc" the indirect object or the object of the preposition "to"?It depends on which grammar book you read.
Some systems say that only the version without a preposition should be called an indirect object.
In such a system, I gave a book to Marc doesn't have an indirect object; I gave Marc a book does.
Other systems say that an indirect object is present no matter how it is expressed: a single word, an object of the preposition to, or an object of the preposition for. (gave Marc a book; brought a book to Marc; sang a song for Marc) In this kind of system, Marc is both an indirect object and an object of the preposition to in I gave a book to Marc.
I personally use the second system.
If you are taking a class where this distinction is important, be sure to find out from your teacher which system is being used in your class.
and sometimes you can't (I put the book on the table /
does anyone have any idea what it is that makes the difference? is there a list of verbs and their prepositions that can be moved in this way, or those that can't?
I'm an English teacher, asking for a student.
AnonymousIs Miss Diller the io or op?Have you read this thread? The answer is given above. The specific terminology depends on which system of grammar you are using to label these elements of sentences.
CalifJimI personally use the second system.Out of curiosity, do you still use the second system?
Aspara GusOut of curiosity, do you still use the second system?Yes. "indirect object" if we're talking semantics, and "object of a preposition" if we're talking syntax.
I'm influenced by my study of European languages. For most of those, supposing you have to translate, when you see "(gave, said, ...) to his brother", or some such thing, you think "meaning, meaning, meaning", not "structure, structure, structure", and "indirect object" (or more specifically "dative case") immediately comes to mind. You almost always go wrong if you try to substitute the foreign language words for "to", "his", and "brother", depending on the target language, of course.
It's quite surprising how often the word "dative" comes up in English linguistics these days, given how much any approach to English grammar that is based on Latin has been maligned over the years.
Which system do you use? Let me guess. The syntactic one?
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