General Writing and Grammar Help/parsing the imperative

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Question
Dear Ted

Would you please help me parse the following sentence:
“Keep him waiting.”

I am thinking that this sentence is in the imperative and that “him” is a direct object pronoun.  But, I am also wondering if the gerund “waiting” is also being used as a direct object.


Thank you, in advance, for your help.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

Would you please help me parse the following sentence:
“Keep him waiting.”

I am thinking that this sentence is in the imperative and that “him” is a direct object pronoun.  But, I am also wondering if the gerund “waiting” is also being used as a direct object.

*** It is in the imperative mood, and the "understood" subject is "you."

keep = verb
him = direct object of the verb "keep"
waiting = a participle modify the pronoun "him"

In other words, you have a "waiting him."  Participles are used as adjectives, so the adjective/participle modifies the pronoun "him."

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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