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Again, She teaches me music. Music is that which she teaches, but she might teach music to all the school, or to all the house. hold ; the word 'me' limits the meaning of the predicate, for the time being, to me. And the sentence means, She teaches music to me.
[NOTE.—The case of words in such positions as those of 'me' and 'music' will be a guide in distinguishing the object from the adjunct, otherwise called the indirect object. In parsing it would be seen that the verb “teaches' governs music,' and that 'me' is governed by the preposition to'; and that in the sentence, We gave the child his supper, the word “supper' is governed by
gave,' and the word 'child' by the preposition 'to.' The object is the word to which the transitive verb passes, and that word only is in the objective case or position of object.
Unfortunately, however, we use the term objective case or position when a word is governed by a preposition. For example, in the sentence, I gave this to you, we should describe
you' as in the objective case or position of object, governed by the preposition 'to'; when logically it is not in the position of object.
The deficiency of the English grammar in regard to case is the cause of this confusion. If the dative, ablative, and vocative cases were recognised as they were in the Latin language, the true position of each noun in a sentence would be apparent, and we should then describe the case or relationship of each noun or pronoun accurately.
In the sentence, We implore thee, O king, give us our liberty, nor turn from our petition, we have examples of five of the six positions a noun or pronoun may occupy, we' being in the nominative case; 'thee,' accusative or objective ; 'king,' vocative; 'us,' dative; and “petition,' ablative. The sixth position in which a noun or pronoun might stand would be the genitive or possessive. Example, the word 'king's' in the phrase, The king's face.
As it is, we confuse the dative and ablative cases with the objective, by describing all three as objective; and this causes many words to appear to be in the objective position, and consequently objects to the predicate, which are not really so, but are adverbial extensions or adjuncts. This must be borne in mind when deciding which is the object in the case quoted above (“She teaches me music'); for we may reason that 'me,' being the person taught, is the object of the verb. It answers the question, Whom does she teach? while music answers the question, What does she teach? and both seem equally to be objects. “Music,' it. might be reasoned, limits the teaching to one subject, and might stand as the adverbial adjunct of limitation to the verb 'teaches,' equally as well as the word 'me.'
The reasoning that 'me' is the object would be correct, if the clause were simply, She teaches me (that is, informs my mind generally); but the two nouns being used, we must see what is the case or position of each. “Me' is evidently in the dative case ; it takes to' (understood) before it. 'Music' cannot be in any other case than the objective or accusative ; and by this we decide that the word 'music' is the object of the sentence, and the word 'me' the adjunct limiting the predicate.]
In all cases where the noun or pronoun follows verbs having the force of the verb “to be,' such nouns or pronouns are in the nominative or subjective position, because they are in apposition with the subject. Examples—They became great men. That seemed a good thing.
For the same reason, such nouns or pronouns cannot form the object of the sentence in which they occur, though they may appear to do so ; for to form the object of a clause or sentence, a word must be the name of that to which the action, expressed by a transitive verb, refers.
Nouns or pronouns following verbs that have the force of the verb 'to be,' form part of the predicate. Examples—John became a preacher. They seemed good men. He seemed a child.
In the sentence, That dress becomes you, the verb 'becomes' is transitive, and has not the force of the verb 'to be'; 'you' is therefore the object. The sentence means, That dress graces you. So in the sentence, Such behaviour became him, the verb became' means 'graced.'
EXERCISE Point out the object in each of the following sentences, and state of what it consists :
“The hunter marked that mountain high,
The lone lake's western boundary.'
I fear thy skinny hand.'
"So shrewdly on the mountain side,
Had the bold burst their mettle tried.' "She came to ask what she had found.' “Thy waters wasted them while they were free.' 'He is the freeman whom the truth makes free.' . The vernal field infuses fresh delight into all hearts. They denied entering the house, and asserted their innocence.
The patient refused to take the medicine, and thus did himself much harm.
Who does not enjoy roaming in the green woods and listening to the songs of the birds ?
• Haste thee, nymph, and bring with thee
Mirth and youthful jollity.'
In sullen sounds his grief beguiled.'
"I love to look on a scene like this,
Of wild and careless play,
And my locks are not yet grey.'
Give little choice of resting-place.'
The Knight of Snowdon, James Fitz-James.'
To match another foe.'
He swam the Esk river, where ford there was none.'
“Horse, horse, the Douglas cried, and chase!
But soon he reined his fury's pace.' The sovereign rewards the brave.
- Well showed the elder lady's mien
That courts and cities she had seen.'
A stranger I, the huntsman said.' 'I may do all that may become a man.'
Give six examples of objects preceding the predicate, six of participles forming objects, six of the infinitive mood of a verb, and six of phrases and clauses forming objects of sentences. .
Point out the object and the apparent object in the following sentences, describing the relationship of each apparent object in the sentence in which it occurs :
But Solomon built him an house. The queen made him prime minister. She looked altogether a queen. That failure made him a bankrupt. I give thee all. We found him a soft pillow. He gave his son a good education. He told us the same sad story. The king can make him a knight. Sir Arthur Wellesley became Duke of Wellington. He seemed a brave soldier. He will find you the book you seek. They told you that. Mary plucked me that flower. The carrier delivered him the parcel. The prisoner never told his friend the secret. The stranger did not tell us his name. His tutor taught him mathematics. We had the boys taught swimming. Mary brought us a basket of fruit. Tell us a story. The merchant procured his son a good situation. They gave them of the corn lands. She sang us a song. The emperor presented them with the Cross of the Legion of Honour. The carpenter made himself a table, and is now making me an oak cabinet. They made themselves coats of the skins of beasts. He lost himself on the hills. Allow yourselves plenty of time to do the work. The architect has drawn you the plan of the proposed building. The student killed himself with over work. They hailed her queen. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. The nobleman left his second son the whole of his personal property. They gave him abundant opportunity for prosecuting the enquiry. Edward the Confessor promised William of Normandy the English crown. We presented the children with copies of the New Testament.
While those parts of clauses called indifferently indirect objects, are, strictly speaking, in most cases extensions or adjuncts of the predicate, they may, in the present stage of English grammar, be conveniently recognised as objects, being distinguished from the object proper thus :
(a) Such cases as the word “William' in the sentence, They made William king, as the factitive object, because the sense of the verb facio, 'to do,' or make,' enters into the construction of the whole class. Logically (as before stated), William' is an adverbial adjunct of material, as showing the material of which the king was made.
(6) The word “him'in the sentence, We gave him a book, as the dative object, though logically “him' is an adverbial extension of limitation, since it limits the act of giving to that person.
(c) The word 'perjury' in the sentence, They were guilty of perjury, as the genitive object, though logically 'of perjury' limits the assertion that they were guilty to one crime, and is therefore an adverbial adjunct of limitation to the predicate.
The general use of the term 'indirect object’ renders such a course convenient, if not necessary; but the student who understands the nature of words and phrases will see that the terms required to differentiate the indirect object are anomalous ; for the term object' means a noun, or its equivalent, standing in the objective case. There is therefore the same meaning in 'dative object,' or 'genitive object,' as there would be in describing a word as standing in the nominative possessive' or possessive objective' case.
The term “indirect object’ is faulty, and its recognition leads to confusion.
Verbs of the middle voice are idiomatic forms of expression, which take direct objects after them. Thus in the sentence, The nugget weighs four ounces, the phrase 'four ounces' is the direct object of weighs; but the verb weighs' in this sentence means 'equals. It has not the same meaning as in the sentence, The grocer weighs a pound of sugar. In the latter case the verb is in the active voice, in the former it is in the middle voice. The sentences, He stands six feet high, The tree measures two yards in circumference, afford examples of the same kind.