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Objective Case - Glossary of Terms


Objective Case

The objective case is one of the 4 main cases in modern English.  It is used for a noun or pronoun that is the direct object of a verb, the indirect object of a verb or the object of a preposition.

Examples:
 
Direct Object (the noun which the verb acts on directly):

Please pass the butter
           
        verb       direct object

Indirect Object (the noun to which the verb happens):

Please pass the butter to Simon.        /      Please pass Simon the butter.
                                            
         verb                   indirect object              verb       indirect object

The Object of a Preposition (the noun which follows a preposition, e.g., in, on, at, near, by):

She lives near Brighton.
                                                
    preposition      object of the preposition

With the exception of "who" and "whom", the objective case causes few problems.  This is because nouns do not change, and English speakers can easily distinguish between pronouns in the subjective case (I, you, he, she, it, we, they) and those in the objective case (me, you, him, her, it, us, them).  In other languages and old English, the direct object of a verb has its own case, known as the accusative, and indirect objects are shown using the dative case. In modern English, these have transformed into the objective case. 

Interactive example:
 
It is a present for you from my wife and me. [show me the objective case]
Associated pages:
 
The difference between who and whom
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
 

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