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@lagrange posted:

In the sentence The house stood on the hill. is "the hill" the object of the verb? How would you analyze this sentence?

No, Lagrange. The verb in that sentence ("stood") does not have an object. The verb is followed by a prepositional phrase ("on the hill"). The noun phrase functions as the object, or complement, of the preposition "on" in that phrase. "Where did the house stand?" -- "The house stood on the hill."

I see what you're saying, that it's just describing where the house is, but what if instead we ask "On what did the house stand?"

This article seems to say that the object of a preposition is an object of the verb. "a transitive verb typically distinguishes between its subject and any of its objects, which can include but are not limited to direct objects,[2] indirect objects,[3] and arguments of adpositions (prepositions or postpositions)". But maybe not: "the latter are more accurately termed oblique arguments."

One example that may be worth mentioning is "I told the story to him". I have always understood "him" there to be the indirect object of the verb say. I am wondering now if its role changes when we rephrase to "I told him the story", or if it doesn't matter.

@lagrange posted:

I see what you're saying, that it's just describing where the house is, but what if instead we ask "On what did the house stand?"



That question asks about the object of the preposition.

@lagrange posted:

One example that may be worth mentioning is "I told the story to him". I have always understood "him" there to be the indirect object of the verb say. I am wondering now if its role changes when we rephrase to "I told him the story", or if it doesn't matter.

Some people would say that "him" in "to him" may be considered the indirect object in "I told the story to him." I reserve the term "indirect object" for the placement of "him" in "I told him the story," which means the same thing as "I told the story to him."

Another name for the structure found in "I told him the story" is the double-object construction. Generally, when I am blogging for people such as you, who are tempted to call "him" an indirect object in "I told the story to him," I use the term "double-object construction" to talk about what I want to talk about.

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