In the sentence

I take my kids to school.

I would be the subject and the verb would be take.

Now, as the verb take is acted upon the kids, I thought my kids was the direct object and the school would be the indirect object.

However, my professor said that the school is actually a direct object.

I'm wondering, do I have both the kids and the school as two separate direct objects?

  • 10
    Your professor appears not to know what a direct object is. School is the object of the preposition to, but the term ‘direct object’ is not usually applied to prepositional objects. Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 2:18
  • ... and the PP "to school" is a complement of "take".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 12:53

3 Answers 3


Indirect object is when you can say it without the preposition "to".

I gave the book to him.

has direct object "the book" but no indirect object.

I gave him the book.

has direct object "the book" and indirect object "him".


In the sentence

'I take my kids to school'

my kids is the direct object as to take is a transitive verb.

The phrase to school is the adverbial modifier.

  • I think it would be better to say that the PP "to school" is a goal complement, not a modifier, since it has to be licensed by a verb of motion, in this case "take".
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 15, 2019 at 18:43

user307254 is correct.

To further elaborate,

Indirect objects show whom the action is for.


I buy my mum a present.

a present = direct object

my mum = indirect object

However, if you say "I buy a present for my mum."

a present = direct object

But now my mum is part of a prepositional phrase (or adverbial modifier) beginning with the preposition "for".

In your example, "to school" is a prepositional phrase with school being the object of a preposition.

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