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.