Subjects and Direct Objects Exercise (159)

The subject is the part of a sentence about which a statement is made. For example, The Queen of England has a strong sense of duty. The simple subject is the word Queen.

The direct object is a word that receives the action of a verb. For example, Paul Bunyan loved his ox. The verb is loved. The direct object is (his) ox.

Decide if the words in boldface type are subjects or direct objects.

  • Returning to the house, Mr. Arable carried a carton under his arm.

  • Fern couldn’t eat until her pig had had a drink of milk.

  • A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place.

  • Filch retrieved a large roll of parchment from his desk drawer.

  • Kicking off her buckled shoes and dropping the woolen cloak, she plunged headlong over the side of the boat.

Answers and Explanations

An easy way to identify a direct object in a sentence is to find the verb and ask "what?"

1. Returning to the house, Mr. Arable carried a carton under his arm.

Correct: direct object
Carton is the direct object of the verb carried.

2. Fern couldn’t eat until her pig had had a drink of milk.

Correct: direct object
Drink is the direct object of the verb had had.

3. A faint smell of fried fish lingered about the place.

Correct: subject
Smell is the subject of the verb lingered.

4. Filch retrieved a large roll of parchment from his desk drawer.

Correct: direct object
Roll is the direct object of the verb retrieved.

5. Kicking off her buckled shoes and dropping the woolen cloak, she plunged headlong over the side of the boat.

Correct: subject
She is the subject of the verb plunged.

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