General Writing and Grammar Help/Direct & Indirect Object



Is it possible to write a sentence with an indirect object but without a direct object in the sentence?

subject plus predicate plus indirect object

For example, this sentence has a direct object but not an indirect object: The girl skipped the rope.

It is possible to have a direct object and an understood indirect object: She baked a cake. In this sentence, the female baked someone a cake.

I thank you for your reply.

ANSWER: It's not necessarily understood that she baked somebody else a cake - - unless you mean that =somebody= would also include the baker herself.  If you want to specify that she is not included in the list of possible recipients, you need to recast the sentence, as you have done.

She baked Jim a cake.


Now, as to your question, I don't think so.  I am trying to think of a sentence that fulfills that requirement....  Do you have one?

=She baked someone= went out with the Donner party!


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


I want to thank you for the reply.

After I sent you my question, I thought about it, and I was able to think of this example, but I'm not sure it is totally correct.

He assured them that it would not rain today.

If "them" is the indirect object (It does answer the question to whom or for whom.) and the noun clause (that it would not rain today) is the direct object, the sentence can be changed to the following:

He assured them of that situation.

In this sentence, is "them" the indirect object with no expressed direct object?

I thank you for your follow-up reply.

If you mean =that situation= as "true" words to be included in the sentence, then those words would be the direct object.

I think what you want is something such as this:
He assured them.

Whatever it was that was of concern to them is not stated but is assumed. What exactly this is would have been mentioned/discussed earlier so that there was no question about the topic.

They were concerned it would rain.  The rain forest is known for rain, after all.  Mrs. Primm did not want her hat to be sullied; Mr. Primm did not cotton to the idea of a wet watch chain.  The guide understood their reticence and wanted them to know it definitely would not rain.  He assured them. They took him at his word, something they later were to regret.


Now I am curious and must ask you why you are interested in a sentence that appears on paper with an ID but no DO?

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Martha Beth Lewis


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