Complex Object in English with an associative table

We assume that an action is performed by a specific object, and there are cases when we need to enclose it in a special construction, which can be operated only together. How to describe our attitude to this structure as a whole? Not to the object and not to action, namely to the totality of the action and the subject, to their mutual involvement? In Russian, to express such a turn, a complex syntactic construction is required. Usually, a complex sentence is used to accommodate such semantic connections, in which the agreement between the main and dependent parts is carried out by means of “to”, “how”, etc., thus splitting a single concept into two sentences. Also in some cases it is possible to replace with a noun:

  • I heard them talking - I heard their conversation.

But the noun is not universal and does not reliably convey the content. The grammar of the English language contains a much more refined construction.Complex Object operates with both an action and an object at the same time, as if enclosing them in a single capsule.

complex object in English examples

We could literally translate I want you to do it as "I want you to do it" or as "I want it done by you," but could not say so. Instead, we would get: "I want you to do this." However, if we put aside the strangeness, we can appreciate the worthy spontaneity and conciseness of the turnover of the Complex Object in the English language. Examples of various uses are given in the associative table.

Active Deposit

Passive voice

Imperfect verb

subject + predicate + noun / object the (and e.t.c.) +

mental
activity

I want her to say.

+ to verb
(infinitive)

I want it said.

+
participle
II

I want her saying.

+ indefinite
gerund

physical
perception

I hear her say.

+ verb
(infinitive)

I hear it said.

I hear her saying.

permission
resolution

I let her say.

I let it be said.

I let her saying.

General construction schemes

How is the Complex Object constructed in English? The rule identifies four main use cases for complex additions:

  1. With verbs that display mental activity.
  2. With verbs indicating physical perception and fixation of phenomena.
  3. Comprehensive supplement in a passive voice.
  4. A complex addition of a continuous character with an imperfect type verb in its composition.

The grammatical basis remains unchanged; a complex complement is added to it, consisting of subject and verb parts.

The subject part can be presented:

  • standing in the general case own name;
  • noun in general case;
  • personal pronoun in the objective case (answering the question “who?”, “what?”) - me, us;
  • indefinite pronoun - somebody, anything;
  • a reflexive pronoun - themselves, myself, if both actions are performed by the same person (s);
  • a demonstrative pronoun in the case when it is clear from the context what is being said) - this, that;
  • possessive pronouns in absolute form (i.e., one that can be used independently, without a noun), if it is clear from the surrounding content which object is said to be mine, yours.

The verbal part of the perfect form in the active voice represents:

  1. Particle to and infinitive (with verbs that reflect mental processes); the participle is formed according to the following scheme: Subject (subject) + Predicate (predicate) + Noun (noun) / Object Pronoun etc. (object and other pronouns) + to verb (infinitive).
    Or
  2. Infinitive without particle to - with verbs denoting sensory perception and order-permission,pronounced made and let; in this case it is formed according to the following scheme: Subject (subject) + Predicate (predicate) + Noun (noun) / Object Pronoun etc. (object and other pronouns + verb (infinitive).

Exercises on the Complex Object in English are usually based on the continuation of phrases, where a complex addition must be added to the subject and predicate, or the translation of a direct speech into a sentence with a complex addition.

English grammar complex object

Verbs of mental activity

To the verbs of mental activity include the following groups:

  • speaking about intellectual orientation of actions (imagine, think, trust); here can be included the verb make if it speaks of creation;
  • wishes of a particular activity that motivates an object to be active (wish, want, want, like);
  • describing the expectation of activity from the object or some kind of conclusion (expect, seem, consider, suppose, believe); After these verbs in the complex object in English you can often find the form to be;
  • denoting awareness of the actions of the object (know, find);
  • transmitting emotional orientation (like, dislike, love, hate, cannot bear);
  • making a statement or report (claim, report, declare, show).

complex object in English

Verbs of physical sensation

Verbs of physical sensation can be called:

  • direct transmission of impulses from the senses (see, hear);
  • transmitting some concentration of attention on the object (watch, notice, observe, listen to);
  • transmitting subjective sensations (feel, sense);
  • expressing the direct relation of the speaker to the object (have, get).

Permission / Resolution Verbs

Verbs of permission and resolution in English are not limited to make and let. They participate in the construction of the Complex Object scheme in English in different ways.

Those who give orders or allow this or that action: order, allow, permit, suffer, have (get), get, force, cause, allow - require after themselves the particles to.

Complex Object in English with the verbs make and let is used without the to particle. It happened historically, but if you delve into the reason for such use, they are quite subtly different from other verbs that express an order or permission (which are used with to), by their completeness. If we say make, it means that someone is already forcing someone, and not just giving an order, and the forced action is performed. Similarly with the let - it has an absolute value, that is, you need to understand whether the action reaches the addressee.

exercises on the complex object in the English language

Passive Deposit Scheme

If the Complex Object in English contains a passive voice, then the verb part is composed of the past tense participle (Participle II), or, as it is also called, the verb of the third form, without to.

The formation of such a construction occurs according to the following scheme: Subject + Predicate + Noun / Object Pronoun etc. + Participle II.

Scheme for imperfect verbs

When composing a complex addition of a long character with imperfective verbs, the simple gerund (Indefinite Gerund), that is, the verb with the ing ending, serves as the verb part. The particle to is not substituted.

complex object in the English language rule

The formation of such a construction occurs according to the following scheme: Subject + Predicate + Noun / Object Pronoun etc. + Indefinite Gerund.

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