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Using Verbs and Verb Phrases as Indirect Objects

Notional grammars traditionally define verbs as “words that denote an action or a state of being.” A verb phrase is a grammatical structure that consists of a verb that functions as the verb phrase head plus any auxiliary verbs, particles, modifiers, complements, and objects.

In grammar, an indirect object is word, phrase, or clause that indicates to or for whom or what the action of a ditransitive verb is performed. Verbs and verbs phrases in the form of present participles sometimes, although rarely, function as indirect objects. Examples of verbs and verb phrases as indirect objects include the following:

  • You should give showering daily a try.
  • The children gave eating foreign foods a try.
  • My boss gave trying a different procedure a consideration.
  • My grandmother is giving finishing her high school degree some careful consideration.
  • The child gave reading the book some consideration.
  • She gave pursuing another graduate degree serious thought.
  • I have given preparing dinner some thought.
  • He might give painting the house a different color some contemplation.


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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