the indirect object

An indirect object is a noun, pronoun, or word group that answers the ques-
to whom or for whom after the action verb. An indirect object
precedes a direct object in the sentence.

In each sentence, the indirect object is italicized, and the direct object
is underlined.

Mr. Higgins gave Penny an award. (To whom was the award
Laura gave us a challenging problem. (To whom did Laura give

the challenging problem?—us)
Their efforts earned them a handsome reward. (Earned a handsome
reward for whom?—them)
Can Harold purchase his mother a new home? (Purchase a new

home for whom?—his mother)
Note: Remember the difference between an indirect object and an object
of the preposition.

The comedian told her a joke. (The indirect object is her, and the

direct object is joke.)

The comedian told the joke to her. (The direct object is joke, and the

object of the preposition is her. There is no indirect object.)