"Please hand me the comb."

My textbook says to identify what 'me' is, I was able to do that for sentences in which the subject before the verb but I cannot do that for this sentence?

I know that hand is the verb, and the comb is the object but what would me be?

The indirect object?

  • The sentence has an elided (implied) subject. Please visit English Language Learners – Kris Dec 5 '13 at 7:02
  • 4
    This question appears to be off-topic because it is better on ELL. – Kris Dec 5 '13 at 7:03

Me is the indirect object. The subject is you (who is acting), the direct object is comb (what is being acted on), and hand is the verb.

  • Using single quotes or appropriate style can make a whole lot of difference. The subject is not you. The subject is 'you' (or you). The sentence has an elided (implied) subject. – Kris Dec 5 '13 at 7:01

The older concept is differentiating between transitive and intransitive. A more practical concept is about the valency of a verb and its hierarchical transitiveness.

Intransitive: valency = 1. Only one object, which is the source but zero targets:

[1]He died.

Transitive: valency = 2. One source object + one target object.

[1]She dyed [2]her hair.

Di-Transitive: valency = 3. One source object[1] + one target object[2] + one nested target[3].

[1]She gave [3]me [2]her hair.
[1]He wrote [3]me [2]an email.

Nested transitiveness:

{[1]He wrote [2]an email} [3]{to me}.

Hyper-transitive adventure of a verb am and nested verb rain:

I am afraid it will rain cats and dogs three more days after tomorrow before New Year's through Christmas by lots of havoc with continuous fury, with incessant fear.

[1]I am
[2] afraid{
  [4]it will rain {
[3]with incessant fear

The complete tree:

[1]I am
  [4]it will rain {
     [5]cats and dogs
     [6]three more days
       [10]after tomorrow
       [11]before New Year's
       [12]through Christmas
    [8] by lots of havoc
    [9] with continuous fury
[3]with incessant fear

reflected with more precise numbering

[1]I am
  [2.1]it will rain {
     [2.1.1]cats and dogs
     [2.1.2]three more days
       []after tomorrow
       []before New Year's
       []through Christmas
    [2.1.4] by lots of havoc
    [2.1.5] with continuous fury
[3]with incessant fear
  • The 'more practical concept' considers afraid a verb? – Edwin Ashworth Dec 5 '13 at 5:30
  • Thanks. Corrected. [1]My brain was [2]tired with [3]too much unaccomplished after [4]a busy day of [5]repetitive experiments [6]not too helpful to [7]my goals. – Blessed Geek Dec 5 '13 at 5:42
  • The valency tree needs to be more precise -- I'll edit it another day, but currently it still proves the point. – Blessed Geek Dec 5 '13 at 5:46
  • Does this treatment distinguish true objects from what Aarts and McMahon claim 'should not be considered objects but are best regarded as belonging to a slightly different category':post-verb noun groups such as appear in: The piano resembled a pianola./The piano weighed a ton./The piano had a stool./The piano seemed an antique. ? – Edwin Ashworth Dec 5 '13 at 6:09

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