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Using Pronouns as Direct Objects

Traditional grammars describe nouns as words that name people, places, things, and ideas. Pronouns are a subcategory of nouns that take the place of nouns, noun phrases, noun clauses, and other grammatical forms. A noun phrase consists of a noun including a pronoun plus any modifiers, complements, and determiners that provide more information about the noun or pronoun.

In grammar, a direct object is a word, phrase, or clause that follows and receives the action of a transitive verb. In addition to nouns, pronouns also perform the function of direct object. Examples of pronouns as direct objects include the following:

  • That nasty little boy kicked me. (personal pronoun)
  • Loud music really bothers her. (personal pronoun)
  • Will you buy that for me? (demonstrative pronoun)
  • My dad really hates those. (demonstrative pronoun)
  • The trash collector stole what? (interrogative pronoun)
  • Tom Cruise married whom? (interrogative pronoun)
  • My daughter likes both. (indefinite pronoun)
  • My husband and daughter bought me something special. (indefinite pronoun)

References

Brinton, Laurel J. & Donna M. Brinton. 2010. The linguistic structure of Modern English, 2nd edn. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hopper, Paul J. 1999. A short course in grammar. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.
Huddleston, Rodney. 1984. Introduction to the grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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