A subject is the noun phrase that drives the action of a sentence; in the sentence “Jake ate cereal,” Jake is the subject. The direct object is the thing that the subject acts upon, so in that last sentence, “cereal” is the direct object; it’s the thing Jake ate. An indirect object is an optional part of a sentence; it’s the recipient of an action. In the sentence “Jake gave me some cereal,” the word “me” is the indirect object; I’m the person who got cereal from Jake.
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Syntax on Khan Academy: Syntax is the ordering of language; it’s the study of how sentences work. In this section, we’ll scratch the surface of syntax as it applies to English grammar. Much more can be said about this subject, but we’ll save that for KA Linguistics.
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