Direct object

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The direct object is a grammatical relation borne by the most patient-like argument (the P-argument) of an active transitive clause.


The direct object originally contrasted only with the indirect object, a term that is generally used for a recipient-like argument of a ditransitive clause.

However, since Dryer (1986) the term has also often been contrasted with primary object.


The adjective direct apparently originally referred to the fact that the direct object in French is not coded by a preposition, in contrast to the indirect object, which requires the preposition à.


Dryer, Matthew S. 1986. Primary objects, secondary objects, and antidative.

Other languages

German direktes Objekt
Russian прямое дополнение