Direct Object or Predicate Complement Exercise (239)

Both objects and complements answer the question "What?" after a verb. The difference is that an object follows an action verb and a complement completes a linking verb. Predicate complements are of two kinds: predicate nominatives (nouns or pronouns) and predicate adjectives. Decide if the words in boldface type in the following sentences are direct objects, predicate nominatives, or predicate adjectives.

  • The archaeologist felt his way cautiously along the tunnel wall.

  • After the old queen died, her ageing son became king.

  • Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that turns the wheel.

  • The spunky little blonde proved stronger than the vampires.

  • Although his office was intended to be temporary, Coban remained president after the election.

Answers and Explanations

1. The archaeologist felt his way cautiously along the tunnel wall.

Correct: direct object
Felt is an action verb; way receives the action of the verb.

2. After the old queen died, her ageing son became king.

Correct: predicate nominative
Became is a linking verb. King is a noun that completes the meaning of became. King is a predicate nominative.

3. Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that turns the wheel.

Correct: direct object
Turns is an action verb; wheel receives the action and is therefore a direct object.

4. The spunky little blonde proved stronger than the vampires.

Correct: predicate adjective
Proved is a linking verb. Stronger completes the meaning of proved and is a predicate adjective.

5. Although his office was intended to be temporary, Coban remained president after the election.

Correct: predicate nominative
Remained is a linking verb; the noun president is a predicate nominative.

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