Diagramming Indirect Objects

Below is a diagram showing the simple subject, simple predicate, direct object, and indirect object of this sentence:

We bought Ms. Hoo flowers.

Notice that the indirect object (Ms. Hoo) is attached beneath the verb by a slanted line, as though it were a prepositional phrase with the preposition (x) understood, not stated.

Examples 1

Diagram the simple subject, simple predicate, direct object, and indirect object of these sentences.


1. Gus ordered his friend a vanilla shake.

2. Each year the teacher gives his class a lecture on insects.

3. Jen tossed the volleyball.

4. A caring young man found the stray cat a home.

Examples 2

Diagram each word in sentences 1-3.

  1. Bach showed us the beauty of counterpoint.
  2. Bach gave the baroque era well-structured music.
  3. Jefferson taught his peers the basic laws of government.


Diagramming indirect objects is simpler if we think of them as prepositional phrases.

1. We think, "Bach showed the beauty of counterpoint to us." So, we diagram the sentence like this:

2. We think, "Bach gave well-structured music to the baroque era." We diagram it like this:

3. We think, "Jefferson taught to his peers…." So, we diagram the sentence like this:

Examples 3

Diagramming indirect objects requires that we recognize indirect objects in sentences. Write the indirect object(s), if any, from each of the following sentences.

  1. Yoli gave Mom and me her phone number.
  2. She left Jen her key.
  3. Mr. Capps found the stray dog a home.
  4. Last semester, our teacher read us an article about locusts.
  5. Later Manny will serve Bob and me lunch.
  6. Every Tuesday, he gives us guitar lessons.
  7. Please toss Nan or Ann the ball.
  8. Nan or Ann will throw the ball to me.
  9. Did Connor send you an e-mail?
  10. Have you seen my new shoes?


  1. Mom and me
  2. Jen
  3. dog
  4. us
  5. Bob and me
  6. us
  7. Nan or Ann
  8. no indirect object
  9. you
  10. no indirect object