Transitive Verbs 3

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Pattern 5

Sentence Pattern 5

Finally we come to the pattern that does for the direct object what Pattern 2 did for the subject: It equates or relates the direct object with something else, which follows it:

     Customers consider these sleds inexpensive.
     Customers consider these sleds a bargain.

The element after the direct object is called an objective complement, and it may be either a noun or an adjective (or a noun phrase or adjective phrase): either "a bargain" or "inexpensive."

Let us summarize Pattern 4 this way: S + Vt + D.O. + O.C., where "O.C." stands for "objective complement."

English word order affords comedians an opportunity by a slight ambiguity: Two nouns or noun-substitutes in a row after a transitive verb could be either an indirect object plus a direct object or else a direct object plus an objective complement. Certain verbs, but not all, can take either construction after them, and so we get the well-known joke "Call me a taxi." "Okay, you're a taxi." The ambiguity can be demonstrated thus:

     [S="you"] + Vt + I.O. + D.O.
     [S="you"] + Vt + D.O. + O.C.

     The cannibal queen made her husband dinner.
     S + Vt + I.O. + D.O.
     S + Vt + D.O. + O.C.