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Sorry if my question is not suitable for this forum. Although a native speaker, I am unfamiliar with grammatical rules in English (which consequently leads to a lack of comprehension in foreign languages...) I have done research on the differences between direct objects and prepositional phrases but still can't seem to determine the grammatical role of "with my gardening" in the following sentence:

I have been busy with my gardening.

Is it the direct object? A prepositional phrase?

I enjoy learning about grammar.

-- "about grammar" is the direct object...?

To me, a direct object is something received/given that the verb does in the sentence; whereas, a prep phrase constitutes a location, time, etc usually with a preposition (but this is still unclear to me).

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    Your prepositions are a giveaway that you have prepositional phrases, not objects. If you drop a preposition in weeding my garden or enjoy grammar, you can get an object. Commented May 17, 2020 at 15:35
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    Your last sentence sums things up correctly.. But it is such common knowledge that PPs can't be objects that I'm surprised you doubted it.
    – BillJ
    Commented May 17, 2020 at 15:53
  • Thanks for the help; I'll keep a close eye on the presence of prepositions. I also read in another resource that if you remove the direct object from a sentence, the verb doesn't make much sense without it; this could be another way to determine whether it's a D.O. or prep Commented May 19, 2020 at 20:49

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To me, a direct object is something received/given that the verb does in the sentence; whereas, a prep phrase constitutes a location, time, etc usually with a preposition (but this is still unclear to me).

The terms "direct object" and "prepositional phrase" denote syntactic roles and do not (per se) depend on meaning.

So "with my gardening" is a prepositional phrase, as is "about grammar," since they are headed by the prepositions "with" and "about" respectively.

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