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Passive Two Objects‏‎ in English Grammar

Martha, Lucy, cakeThe most common sentence‏‎ structure in English‏‎ is SVO‏‎ or

{subject} + {verb} + {object}

Lucy + baked + a cake.

As you can see, it has just one object. However, sometimes a sentence will have two objects which are known as the direct object and the indirect object:

{subject} + {verb} + {indirect object} + {direct object}

Lucy + gave + Gran + the cake.

Or alternatively:

{subject} + {verb} + {direct object} + [to/for] + {indirect object}

Lucy + gave + the cake + to + Gran.

Passive Voice with Two Objects

If yo need to, you can sometimes make two different passive sentences if the original has two objects:

{direct object} + {passive verb} + {indirect object} …

The cake was given to Gran [by Lucy].

{indirect object} + {passive verb} + {direct object} …

Gran was given the cake [by Lucy].

Which one of these you choose will depend on the emphasis you want to give. If the cake is more important then choose the first; if Gran is more important then choose the second.

Useful Links

Direct & Indirect Objects in English Grammar – what we mean by these two terms

SVO‏‎ – Subject Verb Object – the usual sentence pattern in English

Passive Voice‏‎ in English – an introduction to the passive voice

Image © Tim Pierce

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