VERBS + TWO OBJECTS
1) Some verbs are followed by two objects. Usually the first object is a person (or group of people) and the second object is a thing.
- Can you bring me some milk from the shops? (me = object 1; milk = object 2)
- I made him a cap of coffee. (him = object 1; a cup = object 2)
2) With many verbs that can have two objects, we can reverse the order of the objects if we put for or to before object 1 (this is then called a prepositional object).
- They build us a new house. = They build a new house for us.
- Can you give me that bandage? = Can you give that bandage to me?
NOTE: We often use this pattern if we want to focus particular attention on the object after for/to. We also use it if object 1 is a lot longer than object 2.
- Jasmin taught music to a large number of children at the school. (not Jasmin taught a large number of children at the school music)
- Judith booked theater tickets for all the students who were doing her Shakespeare course. (not Judith booked all the students who were doing her Shakespeare course theater tickets)
3) We use “for + object” with verbs such as book, build, buy, catch, choose, cook, fetch, find, make, order, pour, save…
- I buy a computer for her.
- All parents build a new modern house for their children.
4) We use “to + object” with verbs such as award, give, hand, lend, offer, owe, pass, show, teach, tell, throw…
- Can you pass that cell phone to me?
- Teacher offers a reward to students.
NOTE 1: With some other verbs we can use either “to” or “for”, including bring, leave, pay, play, post, read, send, sing, take, write…
- He played the piece of music to (or for) me.
- Can you sing that song again to (or for) us.
NOTE 2: A few other verbs that are followed by two objects cannot have their objects reverse with for/to. Those verbs like this include allow, ask, cost, deny, forgive, guarantee, permit, refuse…
Example: We all envied him his lifestyle. (but not We all envied his lifestyle for/to him.)
- Some verbs can only have a second object if this is a prepositional object with “to”. Those verbs include admit, announce, demonstrate, describe, introduce, mention, point out, prove, report, say, suggest, explain, confess…
Example: The suspect confessed his crime to the police. (not The suspect confessed the police his crime.)
- The other verbs such as collect, mend and raise can only have a second object if this is a prepositional object with “for”.
Example: He raised a lot of money for charity. (not He raised charity a lot of money.)