Verbs that Must Have an Object

advise  Mike Fernwood

by Jacqueline Schaalje

You’ve got to follow this Tip to make you sound like a native speaker of English.

Verbs with an Object

Some verbs need to have an object after the verb. If they don’t have an object, the sentence is grammatically incorrect. To native ears such a sentence will sound strange. They’ll probably ask you: “Come again?”

The object is the person or thing that an action is done to.

For instance, you can say: 1 My father told me to buy insurance for that trip.

And not: 2 My father told to buy insurance for that trip.

“Me” is the object here (in the first sentence). You always need to tell someone.

So that’s why the second sentence is wrong.

Non-native speakers make lots of mistakes with this, so read this carefully.

Allow + Object

Let’s take another verb that always has to have an object: allow.

I need to allow someone to do something.

Thus I can say: The teacher didn’t allow us to use telephones in class.

The object is “us.”

I can’t say: The teacher didn’t allow to use telephones in class.

(Although you can say: The teacher allowed telephones in class.)

Advise + Object

Another example: advise.

I advised my colleague to adapt the plan a little bit.

The object here is: my colleague.

= a good sentence.

You can’t say: I advised to adapt the plan a little bit.

Although there are many people who occasionally use advise without an object, it will still sound a bit strange.

Remind + Object

And a last example: remind.

I’ll have to remind Wesley to change the meeting to Friday.

Wesley is the object.

You can’t say: I’ll have to remind to change the meeting to Friday.

Which Verbs Need an Object?

Here is a small list of some other verbs that always need an object:

Advise, allow, believe, cause, command, enable, encourage, force, inform, invite, order, persuade, remind, show, teach, tell.

Now try the Quiz.


Choose the right verb.

You can do the quiz online here if you’re an Exclusive Member of English with a Smile.

1 Shall I ___________ (show/look) you around the house?

2 She ______________ (persuaded/threatened) the manager that Sis and her would make a good team.

3 Our manager ______________ (said/invited) all of us for lunch.

4 The student counsellor _____________ (managed/advised) me to switch to health sciences.

5 The government ____________ (ordered/received) the aid agencies out of the war zone, because it was simply too dangerous.

6 The amount of work ____________ (forces/puts) me to stay in the office all night.

7 I’ll need to ____________ (send/inform) everyone in the office about this.

8 I’m sorry, but I can’t ____________ (agree/allow) you to break the rules.

9 The lecturer ____________ (encouraged/failed) the students to use as many sources as they could.

10 I hope I don’t need to ____________ (teach/refuse) you to give an answer when I ask you something!


Try more free quizzes on the website or become an Exclusive Member of English with a Smile here.


9 thoughts on “Verbs that Must Have an Object

  1. No, they’re not. When you answer, of course you don’t need to the whole sentence from the beginning. But when you’re saying a statement, you must use a full sentence, otherwise people won’t understand you.


    1. Many verbs can be followed by an object. These verbs are called transitive verbs. In fact, some verbs must have an object (e.g., take), but some verbs never take an object (e.g., sleep). Verbs that do not take an object are called intransitive verbs. Some verbs can even have two objects. They are called ditransitive verbs. In the following examples, the object is underlined and the primary verb is in bold.

      I’m sleeping. (no object)
      I took the book from him.
      I gave him the book. (2 objects)
      I am happy. (no object)
      I became a teacher. (complement, no object)
      I slept in my bed (1 object)


  2. The sentence needs to be: My father told [someone] to be insurance. Without the [someone] this sentence is wrong.
    When you answer only one or two words, that’s different, because you’re not trying to say a sentence. Sentences have to follow certain rules. Just saying no or yes or whatever is possible, but you can only do this with friends and when you’re super sure that the other person knows what you mean. Short answers sound rude in English.
    – Jacqueline


  3. but sometimes its understood that we are talking about the thing that is object but we arn’t mentioning and listener gets our meaning, then how object is must with verb ?


    1. you must always an object with these particular verbs, also when you already understand what the object is. In that case, you can use pronouns such as it, him, her, the ones, etc.


      1. for example this sentence ( My father told to buy insurance for that trip ) here how its incorrect ? because it can be asked “to whom your father told this”, then he it can be answered “to me”, in fact it seems that the person did not feel need to mention object, as he did not feel need to say “to me” because already he knew that it will be understood that my father told this to me, so why to say it ? already native english speakers don’t use full complete sentences to express there feelings, views, they only often say one or to words in which all the meaning in there they are nonnative english speakers those who use complete sentences, for example, (“don’t know” instead of “i don’t know”) if some one will ask this question to me “what is name of china’s prime minister” in case of i don’t know chines prime minister name, can’t i say only “don’t know” instead of saying “i don’t know”.


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