EVERYTHING (ALMOST) YOU WANTED TO KNOW (WHO WANTS TO KNOW ABOUT THIS STUFF?), BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK. I am totally html inept, but will do my best to keep this blog supplied with plenty of syntax junk. The main aim here is to help my students (my future colleagues, in fact) come to grips with the syntax of English, even if they can't stand it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

OBJECT COMPLEMENT

As the name suggests, this syntax element complements an object. It is always located after the object (postmodifier) and can be a noun, noun phrase, noun clause, adjective or adjective phrase.

As this syntax element complements objects, it is necessary for the verb to be a transitive verb (in fact, the verb is considered a CXTV).

A way to CHECK if the element following the object is an OBJECT COMPLEMENT is to form a separate sentence using the object and the supposed complement with the verb "to be". If this is possible, then the supposed complement is in fact the OBJECT COMPLEMENT.

e.g. THE CRITICS FOUND THE MOVIE DREARY.
- "dreary" (adjective) complementing the object "the movie".
- CHECK: "The movie is dreary" - This confirms that the adjective dreary is working as an OBJECT COMPLEMENT in the example.
- The verb "find", in this specific case, is a CXTV.

e.g. THEY MADE HIM SELL HIS CAR.
- "sell his car" (noun clause reduced by bare infinitive) complementing the object "him".
CHECK: "He is selling his car" - Despite the modification, this confirms that the noun clause "sell his car" is working as an OBJECT COMPLEMENT in the example.
- The verb "make", in this specific case, is a CXTV.

e.g. HER PARENTS NAMED HER BERNICE, BUT EVERYONE CALLED HER BIG BERNIE.
- "Bernice" (noun) complementing the object "her" (first clause).
- "Big Bernie" (noun phrase) complementing the object "her" (second clause).
CHECK: "She is Bernice" / "She is Big Bernie" - Despite the modification, this confirms that the noun "Bernice" and the noun phrase "Big Bernie" are working as OBJECT COMPLEMENTS in the example.
- The verbs "name" and "call", in this specific case, are CXTVs.

e.g. MARKETING MADE THE SUSPENSION BRIDGE VERY POPULAR.
- "very popular" (adjective phrase) complementing the object "the suspension bridge".
CHECK: "The suspension bridge is very popular" - This confirms that the adjective phrase "very popular" is working as an OBJECT COMPLEMENT in the example.
- The verb "make", in this specific case, is a CXTV.

5 Comments:

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4:29 PM

 
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks, this helped me a great deal.

8:06 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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9:02 PM

 
Blogger Kishore said...

In the sentence "He made her cry", I assume the bare infinitive 'cry' is an object complement of the direct object 'her'?
Validation: "She is crying"

12:39 PM

 

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