The direct object and
indirect object, along with the subject and predicate, form the fundamental
structure of a sentence. To distinguish the direct object from the indirect
object in English, we simply identify which word is associated with the predicate
without any intervening preposition. The word that is directly associated
with the verb is the direct object; the word that is less directly associated,
separated by a preposition, is the indirect object.
In Greek, this clue does
not exist, because the indirect object does not take a preposition, as it
does an English. The following test will work on both Greek and English for
identifying the direct and indirect object.
To identify the direct
object, ask the question "Whom?" or "What?" To identify
the indirect object, ask the question "To whom? or "For whom?"
or "To what?" or "For what?"
- The indirect object
is in the dative case.
- The Greek indirect
object usually simply places the bare noun in the dative case, without either
the prepositions "to" or "for" (as English does). Sometimes,
however, an author will use such prepositions.